Besides triggering IED blast and indiscriminate firing, the Naxals also lobbed country-made mortars and ‘Rambo-style’ explosive-headed-arrows on security personnel during the ambush, they said.
“As per preliminary investigation, it was learnt that the attack was pre- planned and executed by two military platoons of Maoists active in Bhejji periphery. The security forces seem to have walked into a trap,” a senior police official said.
At around 8 am on Saturday, a Road Opening Party (ROP) of CRPF’s 219th battalion, comprising around 120 personnel, had launched the operation from Bhejji to ensure security to the construction works underway between Injram- Bhejji, he said. Besides, the ROP was also meant to sanitise the area for the movement of villagers and traders for the weekly market held every Saturday at Bhejji, located around 450 km from the state capital, the official said.
“It is presumed that ultras were aware of the ROP operation on ‘market day’ and therefore had positioned themselves in the forest ahead of the patrolling team’s movement,” he said.
“When the para-military forces reached around 2 km away from their camp towards Kottacheru at around 8.50 am, the Naxals surrounded them and unleashed the attack on them by resorting to random firing after triggering a powerful explosion, without giving them any chance to save themselves,” the official said.
The troopers, however, took position and retaliated but till then over a dozen of them were hit by bullets and splinters, he said.
Rajnath announces Rs 1 crore ex-gratia, not to play Holi
Home Minister Rajnath Singh has decided not to play Holi on Monday in view of the killing of 12 CRPF personnel by Maoists in Chhattisgarh. The Home Minister will not play Holi this time as he was saddened by the death of the 12 CRPF men at Sukma in Chhattisgarh, a Home Ministry spokesperson said. Singh had visited Raipur on Saturday where he paid respect to the departed souls. The Home Minister has described the attack on CRPF personnel as “cowardly act” and said their sacrifices won’t go in vain. It has been decided that the total ex gratia which will be given to the families of the slain jawans should not be less than Rs 1 crore, the Home minister had said.