Four BSF personnel were killed and two others were injured during an encounter with Maoists in the Pakhanjur area of Chhattisgarh’s Kanker district on Thursday.
Senior police officials said that the encounter took place at around 11:45 am, when a combined team of the BSF 114th battalion and the district police left Mohla camp on an area domination exercise. The BSF is the paramilitary force that is deployed in Kanker district.
P Sundar Raj, DIG, Anti Naxal Operations said, “The area domination team had left in the morning from the BSF camp in Mohla. There was an encounter in the jungles around Mohla, in which four BSF jawans were killed, and two were injured. Those that were injured have been rushed to Raipur for treatment.”
According to PTI, the deceased were identified as BSF’s Assistant Sub-Inspector Bipul Borah from Assam, constable Silam Ramkrishna from Andhra Pradesh, constable Ishrar Khan from Jharkhand, and Tumeshwar from Dongargaon in Chhattisgarh. BSF’s Assistant Commandant Gopu Kumar and Inspector Gopal Rang sustained injuries in the exchange of fire.
Police sources said that the exchange of fire was the result of a Maoist ambush, and said that there was a heavy exchange of fire from both sides. BSF sources said that they expected Maoist injuries or fatalities as well, but no bodies have been recovered. They admitted that preliminary investigations suggested that the Maoists had planned an ambush.
Both Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel and Governor Anandiben Patel condemned the deaths, and expressed their condolences. Baghel said that the state government will not tolerate violence in the state, and said that the security forces were sufficient to deal with Maoists, and they would reply appropriately.
The encounter took place just a week before the general elections — while the Bastar Lok Sabha seat goes to polls on April 11, elections will be held in the Kanker Lok Sabha seat on April 18.