GUWAHATI: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday said a befitting reply will be given to the Naxal attack in Chhatisgarh at an appropriate time.
He also said search operations are continuing in Chhattisgarh following the encounter.
''As far as the numbers are concerned, both sides have suffered losses and exact casualty figures cannot be ascertained immediately'', Shah said, after cutting short his election campaigning in Assam.
The home minister is flying back to Delhi to take stock of the situation.
''Our securitymen have lost their lives, we will not tolerate this bloodshed and a befitting reply will be given at an appropriate time'', he added.
Bodies of 17 of the 18 jawans missing after the encounter were recovered on Sunday, taking the death toll to 22, police said separately.
Shah, addressed his first rally of the day at Sorbhog.
Though he arrived at Sualkuchi, in Jalkubari constituency, to campaign for NEDA convenor Himanta Biswa Sarma, he left the area, without making any speeches to take a chopper back to Guwahati en-route to Delhi on learning of the Naxal attack.
The home minister said that he was appealing to people to vote for Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma to ensure Sarma's victory by a huge margin.
He added that the vote would strengthen the hands of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his work for Assam and the North East.
Shah said that both Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and Sarma are working to develop the state and ''we want this to continue''.