A late-night encounter between Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel and Maoists in Gaya in Bihar led to the death of 10 of the CRPF jawans and at least four Maoists. The encounter started close to midnight on Monday, and ended in the early hours of Tuesday.
It is said that a team of Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (COBRA) jawans of the CRPF were on a patrolling mission in the Dumari Nala forest area in the Gaya district -- a place that is very near the district border of Aurangabad -- when they were ambushed by the Maoists, who set off 21 improvised explosive devices (IEDs) around them.
This was followed by heavy exchange of fire, which led to the death of 10 of the CRPF personnel and at least four Maoists, whose bodies have been recovered. Five of the CRPF personnel have been injured, and taken to hospital for treatment. The total extent of casualties on the Maoist side is not known, because they are known to take away their injured as well as bodies of the deceased members after an encounter.
Gaya District Magistrate Kumar Ravi had told Hindustan Times on Monday night: "We sent a helicopter, but it was unable to evacuate our people as the Maoists engaged our forces in heavy firing. The Gaya international airport will be opened throughout the night and BSF choppers are on standby. We will resume our operations in the morning."
Given that at least 10 COBRA commandos have died in the encounter so far, this is being considered one of the deadliest that the COBRA battalion, which the CRPF raised to specialise in guerrilla tactics and jungle warfare, has encountered.
The Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) in Bihar, Sunil Kumar, said the Bihar government has announced a compensation of Rs. 5 lakh for the kin of the CRPF personnel killed in the attack.