Another police jawan injured in an encounter with Naxals in Sukma district, Chhattisgarh succumbed to injuries on Sunday, taking the death toll of security personnel killed in the operation to three.
Earlier on Saturday, two police personnel were killed and seven other personnel injured in two separate encounters with Naxalites in insurgency-hit Sukma district, police said. Senior police officials said a body of a Maoist, with an SLR, was also recovered. The intermittent fire continued till late Saturday evening. A composite squad of the STF, District Reserve Group (DRG), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and its elite unit-CoBRA (Commando Battalion for Resolute Action) began the operation based on inputs about the location of Maoist hideouts in the interiors of Chintagufa, around 500 km from Bastar, on Friday.
DM Awasthi, Special DG Anti-Naxal Operations, said, “We launched a massive operation called Operation Prahar on Friday from different points on the Dornapal Jagargunda axis, comprising 1,500 troops. This included Chhattisgarh Police, DRG, STF as well as the CRPF and CoBRA. The idea was to hit the Maoists in areas that the forces have not gone before, deep in what they consider their core areas.” The first exchange of fire with the Maoists took place on Saturday, near Tondamarka, at around 10 am.
Four separate encounters between Naxalites and police have been reported in the state since Saturday, in which three security men have been killed and seven injured, including a sub-inspector. Two Naxals were also gunned down in these face-offs. While two encounters took place in Sukma on Saturday, as many others occurred in Bijapur, including one on Sunday morning.
with PTI inputs