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This article was first published 1 year ago  » News » 2 unarmed cops killed in Naxal attack on Chhattisgarh-Maha border

2 unarmed cops killed in Naxal attack on Chhattisgarh-Maha border

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra
Last updated on: February 21, 2023 01:39 IST
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Two police personnel were killed when armed Naxalites ambushed them near a mobile check-post in Chhattisgarh's Rajnandgaon district bordering Maharashtra on Monday morning, police said.

IMAGE: Security personnel patrolling in Naxalite area. Image used only for representation. Photograph: ANI Photo

The Naxalites carrying sophisticated weapons, including AK-47 rifles, targeted the two unarmed cops when they had just reported for duty at the mobile check-post on the inter-state border, an area that has witnessed a Maoist attack after a long time, they said.

Following the incident, the Maharashtra Police along with their counterparts in Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh launched a joint operation to check the movement of Naxalites in border areas of the three states, they added.


The attack took place between 7 am and 8 am under Bortalav police station limits in Rajnandgaon district located adjoining Maharashtra, Rajnandgaon Superintendent of Police Abhishek Meena told PTI.

The mobile check-spot, located around 4km away from the Bortalav police camp, is laid on a densely-forested road that connects Bortalav to Darrekasa (Maharashtra) and has been set up to check inter-state smuggling of liquor, police said.

As per preliminary information, when district force head constable Rajesh Singh Rajput and Chhattisgarh Armed Force constable Lalit Kumar Samrath reached outside the check-post from the Bortalav camp, a small action team of Naxalites armed with sophisticated weapons, including AK-47 and Insas rifles, opened indiscriminate fire at them, said Deputy Superintendent of Police (anti-naxal operation) Ajit Ogre.

The two cops were not carrying weapons hence they could not retaliate.

One of them died on the spot and the other constable succumbed to injuries while being taken to hospital, he said.

The name of deceased Chhattisgarh Armed Force constable Lalit Kumar Samrath was earlier given as Anil Kumar Samrat by the police.

An investigation will be conducted to find out why the two cops were not carrying their weapons, Ogre said.

The Naxalites also set ablaze their motorcycle before escaping from the spot, located 180km from the Chhattisgarh capital Raipur, he said.

After the incident, a search operation was launched in the area to track down the assailants, said the deputy superintendent of police.

Prima facie it seems, Darrekasa dalam (squad) or platoon no. 1 of Maoists was involved in the attack , Ogre added.

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel expressed grief over the death of the two cops in the Maoist attack and said their martyrdom will not go in vain.

Earlier, a major part of Rajnandgaon district bordered Gondia and Gadchiroli (Maharashtra) and Balaghat (Madhya Pradesh), districts where Maoist activities had been frequently reported in the past.

Last year, Mohla-Manpur-Ambagarh Chowki (which shares border with Maharashtra) and Khairagarh-Chhuikhadan-Gandai (KCG - which shares border with Madhya Pradesh) were carved out of Rajnandgaon and made two separate districts.

The site of the latest attack and its adjoining areas on the tri-junction fall under the MMC (Madhya Pradesh-Maharashtra-Chhattisgarh) zone of Maoists where they are trying to set up a new base, according to police.

In 2020, a police sub-inspector was killed in an encounter with Naxalites in Rajnandgaon's Manpur area which now falls in one of the new districts. Four Naxalites were killed in the same encounter.

In 2019, seven Naxalites, most of them members of the Darrekasa area committee and platoon no.1, were gunned down in an encounter with security forces in the Baghnadi police station area (Rajnandagon) adjoining Bortalav.

After Monday's attack, police personnel deputed at the Chhattisgarh border have been asked to strictly follow standard operating procedures (SOPs) during surveillance at check-posts, Deputy Inspector General, Gadchiroli (Maharashtra), Sandeep Patil said.

He said the gun assault took place one kilometre from the border of Maharashtra's Gondia district and two 'dalams' of Naxalites were involved.

The deceased policemen were not carrying weapons, due to which they were easily targeted by Naxalites, said the IPS officer.

Following the ambush, it is likely Naxalite dalams may move to the tri-junction comprising borders of Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, the official said.

In anticipation of such movements, the Maharashtra Police are conducting a joint operation along with their MP and Chhattisgarh counterparts, Patil added.

According to officials in the Gondia police, some 15 to 16 outlaws opened fire at the two policemen from an isolated, vacant and dilapidated house where they were camping.

They were shot from close range and police have recovered 18 round of bullets from the spot, they said.

After the attack, senior officials from Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra police visited the spot to take stock of the situation.

Gondia Superintendent of Police Nikhil Pingale said they have intensified patrolling in border areas and launched a combing operation with the Chhattisgarh police.

Chandsuraj under Salekasa tehsil is the last village of Gondia district. Salekasa tehsil is a Naxal-affected place, but such a serious attack has been reported in the region after a long gap.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra© Copyright 2024 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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