13 killed in Maoist ambush in Chhattisgarh (Third Lead)May 11th, 2009 - 6:30 pm ICT by IANS
Raipur, May 11 (IANS) Twelve policemen and a civilian were killed and six injured after 150 heavily armed Maoist guerrillas ambushed a 41-member police force in Chhattisgarh, an official said Monday.
The attack on the District Force (DF) search convoy took place in hillside Risgaon village of Dhamtari district, about 130 km from here, late Sunday.
“The heavily armed rebels first triggered multiple blasts and then opened indiscriminate fire from hilltops on jawans. Ten constables, one hawaldar, one special police officer (SPO) and a civilian, who was the driver of one of the vehicles, were killed,” Girdhari Nayak, additional director general of police, told IANS.
He informed that local police authorities were not sure whether insurgents had walked away with arms of the deceased cops.
“It’s the first attack of insurgents in Dhamtari district. The jawans belonging to Kanker DF were travelling in three vehicles,” said Pawan Deo, deputy inspector general (Maoist operations) at the police headquarters.
A helicopter sent by the state government Monday morning brought back three seriously injured policemen who have been admitted to the Ramkrishna Care Hospital here.
The search squad was sent to the area after intelligence inputs suggested that dozens of Maoists were to meet there. The information proved to be a trap.
Chief Minister Raman Singh in a statement has termed the killings a “cowardice act” of guerrillas and said that “those who believe in democracy as well as human rights organisations must condemn the brutal act”.
“The policemen who came under heavy attack were not provided reinforcement and even several injured cops were left crying at the attacks site without police or medical help for about 16 hours,” state Congress chief Dhanendra Sahu told reporters after visiting the hospital where the injured have been admitted.
Rebels have stepped up attacks on police and civilians over the last week. On May 6, Maoists killed 11 people, including seven security personnel, in Bastar region. A day later, a police station in-charge was stabbed to death in full public view in the same region.
On May 5, a senior leader of the state’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Rajnandgaon district was shot dead. Police say over 1,500 people have been killed in the state in Maoist violence since Chhattisgarh was carved out of Madhya Pradesh in November 2000.