CRPF kill 9 Maoists in Bastar gunfight, rebels strike back (Second Lead)By IANS
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
RAIPUR - Claiming it as a major success, paramilitary troopers in Chhattisgarh Tuesday killed nine Maoists in a fierce gun battle in the rebel stronghold of Bastar. But the Maoists hit back, killing two Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troopers in a powerful blast.
The 111th battalion of the CRPF fought a fierce gunbattle with over 150 heavily armed Maoists in Jagargunda area of Dantewada district. The battle site is located over 500 km south of here.
Hours later, the rebels blew up a CRPF vehicle in an interior area in neighbouring Bijapur district in which two troopers were killed. Extra troopers were rushed to the site.
A senior CRPF official posted in Dantewada said on condition of anonymity that the gun battle in Jagargunda began when the rebels opened fire on a strong contingent of the paramilitary force which was on patrolling in the morning.
“This time, we stunned them (Maoists). The personnel put the rebels’ squad under heavy firing for nearly an hour. We successfully hunted nine of them. I believe many more received gun shots and probably were taken inside the forests,” the officer informed.
Dantewada’s Senior Superintendent of Police S.R.P. Kalluri told IANS over phone: “It’s a big success. CRPF’s 111th battalion fought bravely with over 150 heavily armed Maoists. We have recovered bodies of all the nine rebels with their weapons.”
The CRPF recovered many arms and explosives from the site. Senior CRPF officials and state police officers rushed to the site, which is not less than 200 km from Dantewada town - headquarters of India’s worst insurgency-hit district.
For the paramilitary force, which has been under repeated attacks from the rebels in the sprawling 40,000 sq km mineral-rich restive Bastar region, Tuesday’s success is considered a big morale booster.
Maoists had been up against the CRPF in Bastar, mainly in Danteweda. They had killed 76 security personnel, including 75 of the CRPF, in a single attack in April this year.