In a major Maoist attack last week, a total of 22 security personnel were killed and 31 injured in a fierce gun battle with a platoon of over 300 People's Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) in Chhattisgarh's Bijapur district, officials said. Central Reserve Police Force's (CRPFs) Rakeshwar Singh Manhas from the 3.25 lakh strong paramilitary force's elite CoBRA (Commando Battalion for Resolute Action) unit went missing, and per latest reports, he is in the captivity of Maoists.
Bijapur Superintendent of police Kamlochan Kashyap said the search efforts to trace the commando are underway. But the wife of the missing jawan broke down while sharing her grievance and appealing to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to bring back her husband. Meenu Manhas, while speaking to media, urged PM Modi to bring back her husband like how Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was brought back from Pakistan in February 2019.
"I request Modi sahab and Amit Shah sahab to bring him back...I spoke to my husband on Friday night around 9:30pm. He told me he was going for an operation duty...," she said. "Please bring him back like the way you brought Abhinandan back from Pakistan."
विंग कमांडर अभिनंदन की तरह मेरे पति को भी नक्सलियों के कब्जे से छुड़वा लाओ...बीजापुर हमले के बाद नक्सलियों के कब्जे में कैद जवान की पत्नी मीनू मन्हास ने पीएम मोदी से की अपील.. #BijapurEncounter #Bijapur@govindtimes @rahulpandita @TanushreePande @ipskabra pic.twitter.com/LoZ2R9znkO— संजय ठाकुर (@sanjaythakur6) April 5, 2021
Bijapur Maoist attack
The gun battle took place on Saturday noon near Tekulgudem village under Tarrem police station in which eight personnel of Chhattisgarh's District Reserve Guard (DRG) and six of Special Task Force (STF), seven from CRPF's CoBRA and one from its Bastaria Battalion lost their lives.
A shootout began soon after a joint team of CRPF and Chhattisgarh police's DRG and STF men reached the spot following the tip-off regarding the presence of wanted Maoist Hidma -- the commander of PLGA's Battalion No. 1 -- and his associates. The PLGA's Battalion No. 1 is one of the guerrilla forces that are very rampant in Chhattisgarh.
A total of 31 security personnel also injured in the shootout, including 10 from DRG, five from STF, and 16 from CoBRA-210 Battalion. Of the 31 injured, 13 suffered critical injuries and are being treated at a hospital in Raipur while 18 faced minor injuries and getting treatment in Bijapur.
Sharing fresh inputs received from the spot, CRPF Inspector General (Operations) C.G. Arora told IANS that it was a dense forested area and core region of the Maoist where the gun battle took place.
(Additional agency inputs)