A sub-inspector rank police officer and four constables were killed on Friday in a Maoist ambush that took place at Shyamgiri hills in Dantewada district, about 370 km from Raipur.
According to R K Vij, ADG (Naxal operations), the five officials, who were killed, belonged to the state police and were travelling in a group of 12 when they were caught in the ambush.
“The jawans were on their way to provide security cover to road development work,” Vij said. Unconfirmed reports stated that the number of those who have died was likely to go up. The injured have been airlifted to Raipur.
“The place where the ambush took place is located in a very remote area and the team was going to the construction site for the last 10 days to provide protection to workers engaged in road construction work,” Superintendent of police of Dantewada, Narendra Khare told Express.
The 12-member team was travelling on six motor bikes. The jawans, as is the norm among personnel posted in Naxal-infested regions, were not in uniform, to avoid recognition. But the strategy failed to save them.
“The Naxals first carried out a landmine blast and then resorted to incriminate firing. It is clear that the maoists were aware of the movement programme of the force and were able to kill them like sitting ducks. The encounter lasted for close to 45 minutes,” a senior police official said.