Worst in Chhattisgarh in seven years: 25 CRPF men killed by Maoists in Sukma

Senior police officers said the ambush took place after personnel from the 74th battalion of CRPF had emerged from their camp to secure an under-construction road in a Maoist stronghold in south Sukma.

Written by Deeptiman Tiwary , Dipankar Ghose , Rahul Tripathi | Raipur | Updated: April 25, 2017 11:21 am
crpf attack, sukma, maoist attack crpf, chhattisgarh crpf attack, burkapal sukma, moaists attack army, sukma killings death toll, sukma crpf attack latest news, chhattisgarh news, indian express In 2010, 76 CRPF personnel were killed in Sukma in a Maoist attack. (Source: Express photo)

IN THE biggest Maoist attack on CRPF personnel in Chhattisgarh in the last seven years, 25 jawans were killed and six injured in an ambush in the Burkapal area of Sukma on Monday afternoon, officials said.

Senior police officers said the ambush took place after personnel from the 74th Battalion of CRPF had emerged from their camp to secure an under-construction road in a Maoist stronghold in south Sukma.

The attack took place more than a month after 13 CRPF jawans were killed in a similar ambush on a road-opening party on the Injeram-Bhejji stretch, around 60 km from Monday’s ambush spot. In 2010, 76 CRPF personnel were killed in Sukma in a Maoist attack.

Chhattisgarh Police and CRPF sources said that two companies — around 150 personnel — of the battalion were ambushed by around 300-400 Maoists at around 12.30 pm on the Dornapal-Jagargunda stretch, one kilometre from the Burkapal CRPF camp. A company commander and six others were reported to be missing, said officials.

crpf attack, sukma, maoist attack crpf, chhattisgarh crpf attack, burkapal sukma, moaists attack army, sukma killings death toll, sukma crpf attack latest news, chhattisgarh news, indian express A piece of the explosives used in the attack.

“The exchange of fire lasted for over two hours. Given the heavy gunfire, we could not ascertain the location of the entire CRPF party immediately,” said a police officer.

President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemned the attack.

In a post on his official Twitter account, the President said: “Strongly condemn attack on CRPF personnel in Chhattisgarh; condolences to families of deceased and prayers for injured.”

 In 2010, 76 CRPF personnel were killed in Sukma in a Maoist attack.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi described the attack as “cowardly and deplorable”. In a post on his Twitter account, he wrote: “We are monitoring the situation closely. We are proud of the valour of our (CRPF) personnel. The sacrifice of the martyrs will not go in vain. Condolences to their families.”

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said he has spoken to his deputy Hansraj Ahir, who is expected to visit Chhatishgarh and review the security situation along with the DG of CRPF. “Extremely pained to know about the killing of CRPF personnel in Sukma. My tributes to the martyrs and condolences to their families,” Singh posted on Twitter.

 In 2010, 76 CRPF personnel were killed in Sukma in a Maoist attack. Injured CRPF jawans being brought in a chopper for treatment

Officials said that Singh has briefed Modi on the attack and is also likely to visit Chattishgarh on Tuesday.

Chief Minister Raman Singh, who was scheduled to return from Delhi on Tuesday, reached Raipur on Monday night to attend emergency meetings. Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi also held security reviews with senior officials and the CRPF.

According to officials, the Home Ministry has conveyed its unhappiness over the ground situation and that “no lessons were learnt” after the March 11 attack in Bhejji.

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Officials said the ministry has also called for a review of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) since road-opening parties had been targeted earlier, too.

In preliminary reports submitted to the ministry, CRPF said that seven of its personnel were initially injured in exchange of fire with Maoists. By the time rescue teams reached the spot, they found the bodies of the personnel, with their weapons and wireless system missing.

“In a fierce gunbattle with Maoists, 25 brave soldiers of CRPF laid down their lives for the motherland. Two companies of 74 Bn CRPF were deployed to provide security for road construction in the area connecting Burkapal to Chintagufa in Sukma… The party was ambushed by a group of about 300-400 Maoist cadres at 1230 hrs at Kalapattar near Burkapal,” a CRPF statement said.

 In 2010, 76 CRPF personnel were killed in Sukma in a Maoist attack.

Sources said the CRPF men suffered heavy casualties as they were located at a disadvantageous position.

“The CRPF troops replied in a befitting manner but taking geographical position to their advantage, Maoists succeeded in inflicting losses on CRPF. Twenty-four brave soldiers (were) martyred at the battleground and one succumbed to his injuries while being evacuated to a hospital in Raipur,” the statement said.

Those killed at the spot were Inspector Raghubir Singh, sub-inspector KK Das, three assistant sub-inspectors, five head constables and fourteen constables. CRPF said that their bodies had been airlifted to Raipur and the injured admitted in Ramkrishna Hospital.

The force also claimed that it had inflicted casualties on Maoists. “A considerable number of Maoists are believed to have been eliminated as tell-tale signs indicate from the ground,” the statement said.

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Senior CRPF officers, including the director general and inspector general (operations), have reached Raipur and will visit the encounter spot on Tuesday, sources said.

The road being built is a crucial 56-km stretch from Dornapal on NH 30 to Jagargunda, considered one of the most sensitive zones in the country. While an 8-km stretch from Dornapal to Gorgunda has been completed, the remaining 46-km stretch, being built by the Police Housing Corporation, is still under construction.

Over the last three years, road-building activity in this area has seen 11 exchanges of fire, 18 IED blasts, three civilian deaths in explosions, and the recovery of 16 IEDs.

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Before this attack, seven security personnel were killed and 25 injured on this road over the last three years — there are five police stations and 15 CRPF camps at 11 places along the stretch.
In the aftermath of the Bhejji attack, police officers had said that the Maoists were desperate to halt road construction here, and were targeting them through IEDs and attacks.

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  1. R
    Rathi Raj
    Apr 26, 2017 at 12:37 pm
    Another example of poor planning and tactics of the CRPF but we cannot blame them alone. The CRPF was never meant for these operations and their men were not trained well for this 'jungle warfare' against unknown faces. This also shows complete apathy of higher ups at the CRPF HQs and the intelligence setup at MHA. It is not easy to attack a force of 100 if they are well deplo for their task. There is huge difference between merely standing with weapons at the site and being deplo tactically to prevent being surprised from all sides. The CRPF battalions work under their respective Commandants and Deputy/ istant Commandants, they need to be well versed with these operations and should have briefed their troops accordingly. Similar drawbacks were seen when 75 CRPF personnel were m acred at Dantewada too, lessons should have been taken by all. The top IPS cadres are generally clueless of the functioning on the ground and hence considered useless.
    Reply
    1. S
      Sheik Mohamed
      Apr 26, 2017 at 6:35 am
      Our heads should hang in shame for this incident as has been pointed out by former chief of this force why government is not willing to take any decision to fill up the top post of this force to lead, while they were busy in Ghar Vapsi programme, Cow vigilant group and blaming previous regime to hide their utter failure to give governance properly and still both CM of Chatisgarh and HM sitting comfortably in their chairs without relinquishing themselves from the posts they hold owning moral responsibility for their failure on their part to discharge their duty properly by failing to protect precious lives of our security personnel.
      Reply
      1. M
        Manaobi Takhell
        Apr 25, 2017 at 7:04 pm
        WHERE IS AFSPA? IS IT KASHMIRI AND NE INDIA....... DON'T BE DIVED RULE POLICY... ACT IS ACT ENFORCE ANY PART OF INDIA DON'T FAULT PLAY. RAPE AND KILL ALL........
        Reply
        1. K
          karun
          Apr 25, 2017 at 4:18 pm
          We have Raman Singh in Chattisgar and Suresh Prabhu in Railways. People get killed by Maoists and railway accidents. These both are useless and should be replaced immediately. In Chattishgarh so many people have been killed, but, this shameless guy is still sticking to CM chair. He should be thrown out.
          Reply
          1. F
            for the
            Apr 25, 2017 at 4:17 pm
            MODI, RSS AND BJP CLAIMED THAT THE DEMONETISATION(NOTE BAN) HAS WEAKENED THE MAOISTS AND NAXALS.....BUT NAXALS AND MAOISTS PROVED THEM WRONG......MODI, BJP AND RSS SAID THE DEMONSUITAION HAS BROUGHT CORRUPTION TO END, WEAKENED MANY TERROSITS ACTIVITIES... BUT NOTHING HAPPENED....HAD THE SAME SHOW HAPPENED BEFORE THE UP ELECTION MODI AND BJP WOULD HAVE WON ZERO SEATS ......GOOD SHOW FROM NAXALS AND MAOISTS....APPRECIATE THEM.....I THINK INDIA HAS NOT LEARNT THE LESSON FROM HOW BANGLADESH WAS BORN.... STAN TRIED TO IMPOSE THEIR LANGUAGE URDU ON BANGLADESH BUT THE PEOPLE OF BANGLADESH REVOLTED AGAINST THEM ANG GOT FREEDOM FROM THEM. MODI ACTIVITES RESEMBLES THE SAME.
            Reply
            1. M
              mumbai
              Apr 25, 2017 at 2:16 pm
              weapon suppliers to maoist naxals are BJP people.
              Reply
              1. S
                SAMAR
                Apr 25, 2017 at 2:02 pm
                IT IS NOT ONLY THE RESPONIBILITY OF SOLDIERS TO LAY DOWN LIVES FOR PROTECTING INDIA BUT OTHER PEOPLE FROM EACH & EVERY WALK OF LIFE MUST BE BROUGHT INTO THE AMBIT OF PARTI TING MILITARILY BY COMPULSORILY RECRUITING CIVILIANS FOR AT LEAST ONE MONTH OR TWO MONTHS IN THE ARMED FORCES. THEN REAL PATRIOTISM WILL FLORISH INTO THE MINDS OF THE YOUNG AND OLD AND THE ARMED FORCES WILL GET STRENGTHENED AS WELL WHICH WILL IN TURN BRING THE NEMESIS OF THE INNER SEPARATISTS, THE TERRORISTS AS WELL AS ENEMY NATIONS.
                Reply
                1. S
                  SAMAR
                  Apr 25, 2017 at 1:52 pm
                  The valour of indian defence forces has again touched sky high as keeping up with the tradition of valour & sacrifice,these brave soldiers have also laid down their lives in order to protect the countrymen from separatist forces who can never succeed. The govt., the people of India all have the responisibilty of fighting for india and they should be ready at all times for fighting the enemies of India. In this direction, a law should be enacted that few hundred thousands of all civilians must be recruited into service of the armed forces for one month every year, so that each and every indian realises the sanc y of patriotism on the battlefield accomodating the leaders as well into the ambit. By sitting at our homes and offices or debating in studios, patriotism is neither felt nor appropriately lived.
                  Reply
                  1. b
                    bones& skulls
                    Apr 25, 2017 at 1:26 pm
                    the efforts made by our p chidamabaram is going down ruins and he has taken on the maoists with a very firm fist. currently our leadership doesnt have mettle or the resolve to curb these deadly actions by maoists. the resolve they show in winning even a muni l election , if even one tenth of that energy is focussed, this could have been solved.the CRPF doesnt have a DG appointed. No one wants to take up the responsiblity because it is tough??? it should be mandatory for all IPS and IAS to serve in these maoist areas and also have a cross attachment with the Indian Army. Those sitting in the AC room offices and directing these poor soldiers can not understand the schematics unless you are hand in hand with people working on ground. The CRPF organisation structure itself needs a review and higher echelons have to act.
                    Reply
                    1. S
                      S.Nagaraja Rao
                      Apr 25, 2017 at 12:32 pm
                      Before going on such road opening exercise, the CRPF should have collected the area intelligence & then gone. It is not possible to gather 300 civilians or militia of men & women with in short time. At least one day before the naxals might have got the leak about the CRPF coming there. So, there is lapse of secrecy of the operation.How far the local intelligence shared the information. As L& O is state matter, the local Spl Branch or State Intelligence or the Central intelligence failed to smell the attack. There is a possibility the road contractor who pooled the labour for road work might have knowing or unknowingly leaked the information. This might have helped the Naxals. It may not be ruled out that there may be sympathisers among the road laying wokers. However, when CRPF was going in hostile territory, they might have taken double precaution. It is said they attacked, when they were taking their lunch, Yes. The Naxals always attack the force,when they are found laxing.
                      Reply
                      1. P
                        Pk Sharma
                        Apr 25, 2017 at 12:05 pm
                        आपकी हर समस्या दूर हो आपके हर काम सफल हो यही मेरी प्राथना होगी जय माता दी जहां मन करे वहा काम करवाओ काम न हो हमारे पास आओ 91-9829810409 1 call aapka jivan badal sakta h whatsapp & CONTECT- 91-9829810409astrologer
                        Reply
                        1. F
                          for the
                          Apr 25, 2017 at 12:04 pm
                          3 TAMILIANS HAVE DIED.... MODI MUST COMPENSATE them for their loss of lives........I like to ask 1 thing......central govt. is doing nothing for Tamilnadu yet Tamilnadu is the 2nd largest state in terms of STAE GDP ....why Tamil people join central forces....dont join .......
                          Reply
                          1. I
                            Ishwak
                            Apr 25, 2017 at 4:03 pm
                            Have you not heard BJPs Tarun Vijay calling all South Indians Black in a TV Interview. This along with the efforts to impose Hindi should be enough for you to understand where TamilNadu stands in the eyes of the Hindutva authorities
                            Reply
                          2. K
                            Kapil Dev Suri
                            Apr 25, 2017 at 11:47 am
                            AB KI MAR Y IS THE POLICY OF OUR GOVERNMENT . MILITARY SHOULD TAKE OVER THE GOVERNMENT OTHERWISE DUE TO APPEA T POLICY INITIATED BY CORRUPT CONGRESS , LEFTIST AND ALL TRAITOR PSEUDOS COUNTRY WILL BE DOOMED . THEY ALL TAKE DECISION ON CONSIDERATION OF EN BLOCK VOTES OF MINORITY THUS MORTGAGING THE SECURITY OF COUNTRY . THESE THREE HUNDRED NAXALITE WHO KILLED OUR BROTHERS CRPF JAWANS SHOULD NOT GO SCOTT FREE UNTIL THERE IS MILITARY RULE. NO ELECTED GOVERNMENT CAN DARE TO TAKE SUCH DRASTIC ACTION . IF THIS TREND CONTINUES THE LIFE OF EVERY SOLDIERS IS AT RISK . KISI KO NAHI PATTA KI KIS WAQT ZINDAGI KI UNKI SHAH AA JAYE . SO IN THIS WAY WE HAVE LOST LACKS OUR JAWANS AND ONE DAY IF THIS COWARD TREND CONTINUES ALL ARE JAWANS WILL LOSE THEIR LIVES. SO IT IS HIGH TIME THAT SOME DARING MILITARY OFFICER SHOULD TAKE THE REINS OF GOVERNMENT . WE CAN NOT TOLERATE SUCH BARBARIC INCIDENT IN FUTURE ?. ..
                            Reply
                            1. M
                              mumbai
                              Apr 25, 2017 at 2:15 pm
                              weapon supplier to maoist naxals are BJP people. what b@lls can be done?
                              Reply
                            2. M
                              Mo
                              Apr 25, 2017 at 11:41 am
                              Maoists or Terrorists?
                              Reply
                              1. B
                                BeingIndian
                                Apr 25, 2017 at 11:37 am
                                Look at the terrorist attack statistics from 2005 until 2017 by satp Left Wing extremism.. 7442 ..... Insurgency in NA .. 6380 ...... J&K Insurgency 6100 (A vast majority of the victims were Muslims) ... We all know that terrorism is wicked and wrong, but why our media and the BJP trolls don't condemn the terrorist attacks by Maoist and leftists as much as they condemn the Kashmir? Religious bigotry?
                                Reply
                                1. B
                                  BeingIndian
                                  Apr 25, 2017 at 11:33 am
                                  What is Gautam Gambhir doing now?
                                  Reply
                                  1. S
                                    sunny
                                    Apr 25, 2017 at 11:22 am
                                    GOvernment should take strong action against these misguided maiosiest people
                                    Reply
                                    1. S
                                      Sunder
                                      Apr 25, 2017 at 11:15 am
                                      Just a day earlier, BJP condemned P. Chidambaram as 'the failed ex-Home Minister' whose comments on J & K deserved no consideration. After Sukma, and given the continuing trouble in J & K, and unceasing violence of cow-vigilantes, is there a more 'Failed Home Minister' than Rajnath Singh and a disgraceful deputy than his cub Rijiju ? They should immediately resign to save their face.
                                      Reply
                                      1. K
                                        Kapil Dev Suri
                                        Apr 25, 2017 at 3:39 pm
                                        it shows your mean mentality . you pro pseudo traitors always play politics in every matter of national importance . we are lamenting on the death of our soldiers . you try to bake chapties on their chita agni ?.
                                        Reply
                                        1. S
                                          Sunder
                                          Apr 25, 2017 at 5:06 pm
                                          Sunder Apr 25, 2017 at 11:15 am Just a day earlier, BJP condemned P. Chidambaram as 'the failed ex-Home Minister' whose comments on J & K deserved no consideration. After Sukma, and given the continuing trouble in J & K, and unceasing violence of cow-vigilantes, is there a more 'Failed Home Minister' than Rajnath Singh and a disgraceful deputy than his cub Rijiju ? They should immediately resign to save their face.
                                          1. S
                                            Sunder
                                            Apr 25, 2017 at 5:10 pm
                                            Digvijay Singh has exposed your complicity with Maoists. You are responsible for the death of our brave soldiers, so don't put on the pretence of lamentation.
                                        2. I
                                          IT Engineer
                                          Apr 25, 2017 at 11:09 am
                                          RIP CRPF Jawans. Truly sad incident. Unless Govt, Politicians and Businessmen stop their greed to setup factories in tribal areas, such incidents can hardly be tackled. CRPF is just following the order of Govt and be it Central or State govt both have failed to resolve the conflicts diplomatically. Its not hidden fact that Bastar District has plenty of minerals which Private Companies such as Adani, Ambani would be playing their cards.
                                          Reply
                                          1. S
                                            Sreedharan
                                            Apr 25, 2017 at 11:06 am
                                            If Indians become anti how can integrity fulfill ? Love your motherland as your mother. Look outside world, we Indians have the least issues in such a big democratic diverse country. Destined is sure is happen. Proud to be an Indian.
                                            Reply
                                            1. I
                                              Ishwak
                                              Apr 25, 2017 at 4:10 pm
                                              Pls correct yourself say "Proud to be a Black South Indian (Madrasi)" according to BJP's Tarun Vijay.
                                              Reply
                                            2. J
                                              Joydeep
                                              Apr 25, 2017 at 10:58 am
                                              Very sad state of affairs. The soldiers lost their lives. Meanwhile the government is busy saving cows. What a state the country has been brought too by these fools. During demonetization, modi claimed that it would bring an end to Maoist funding and terrorist funding. It has only increased!
                                              Reply
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