Raipur, Dec 1: Fourteen Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were martyred in a maoist attack in south of Chintagufa, Sukma district in Chhattisgarh on Monday, Dec 1, evening.
Additional Director General of Police R K Vij said, "Two officers, one in the rank of Deputy Commandant and an Assistant Commandant, have been killed while over a dozen personnel have been injured,", adding that the squad was in the jungles for the last 10 days to carry out operations.
A CRPF source said in New Delhi that the "troopers were returning to their base after conducting a search for Maoists in Sukma district when they were attacked".
"Suddenly there was heavy firing from almost everywhere", he said.
A police officer said in Raipur: "We have suffered a major casualty in a forested stretch of Errabore area in Sukma."
"Heavily armed Maoists opened indiscriminate fire from all around on a contingent of the CRPF and the district police," he said.
The Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju told a news channel that the "combing operations are still underway".
He also said that "we will fight and win the challenge".
"We are working on an effective strategy to counter red terror. Comprehensive steps will be taken to tackle Maoist terror", he said.
Meanwhile, the IG Operations, CRPF will shortly leave for Sukma to access the situation.
It was an attack waiting to happen and after being specifically warned: Source
The CRPF special DG has also called for an emergency meeting at the CRPF headquarters.
"Attack took place despite an alert"
According to the sources, "It was an attack waiting to happen and after being specifically warned just 23 days back."
"On Friday, Nov 7, the state intelligence unit coordinating with the central intelligence bureau had issued a specific alert stating that a major naxal attack was being planned in Chattisgarh.
The alert that was issued stated that the naxals were attempting to regroup especially after they lost control over the Bastar region", the source said.
"Their morale was down and they were looking for a major ambush to raise the spirits of their cadres which was more or less demoralised. The agencies had arrested almost 500 naxals over the past year and this was a major set back for them", the source added.
The agencies who had put the entire system on alert, however, were foxed by the naxals this time.
"Naxals attacked to lift morale"
According to the intelligence, this operation was being planned for the past 3 months and specific alerts started to trickle in only 23 days back.
As per an official, "the attack shows both audacity and desperation on their part. It was extremely necessary for them to carry out this attack to lift their sagging morale."
(With agency inputs)