RAIPUR: Two jawans of Border Security Forces (BSF) were killed and one critically injured in a gunfight with the outlawed CPI (Maoist) near Pratappur area in Kanker district, about 220 km south of Raipur on Sunday.
This is the second major Maoist attack on the paramilitary forces in less than a week in strife-torn Kanker district, north Bastar zone. On July 9, the rebels triggered a powerful Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blast targeting the patrolling team of BSF of 121st battalion who were moving on motor-bike and opened fire on them killing two personnel at Chote Bethiya forested route in the district.
The injured BSF personnel Sandeep Dey was air-lifted from Kanker to Raipur for immediate medical attention.
"The BSF personnel were out on search operation in the region and while they were returning the Maoists opened indiscriminate firing on the forces during the wee hours of Sunday. The attack was swiftly retaliated but we lost two BSF men in an exchange of fire. Reinforcement was immediately rushed to the area to intensify search operation", the Kanker superintendent of police K L Dhruv told the New Indian Express.
There was no information of any casualty inflicted on the Red brigade who managed to flee in the jungle. According the district police chief, the operation was apparently planned following the inputs secured on explosives planted by the rebels and their movement in the interior areas.
The deceased BSF constables were identified as Lokendra Singh from Rajasthan and Mukhtiyar Singh from Punjab. The BSF troopers engaged in the anti-Maoist operation on Sunday belonged to 114 battalion located at Mahala base camps in Kanker. The chief minister Raman Singh has condemned the incident.
"It's a cowardly act by naxals and shows their signs of frustration as they are losing ground in the region", he said.Kanker remains one of the worst affected districts in the conflict zone of Bastar and being cited as an epicentre of left-wing extremists in south Chhattisgarh.