Bodies of 17 security personnel, who were missing after an encounter with Maoists in Sukma district of Chhattisgarh, India were found on Sunday (22th March), police said. “Bodies of 17 security personnel were recovered by a search team and were being evacuated from forests,” Inspector General of Police (Bastar range) Sundarraj P told PTI.
Home ministry’s special advisor K Vijay Kumar reached the state on Sunday. He will assess the situation on Monday. Kumar, a retired IPS officer, may submit his report tothe home ministry whether on the standard operating procedures (SOPs) were followed or not. MHA officials said Maoists looted 16 weapons, including 12 AK 47, from the security personnel during the ambush on Saturday.Earlier, in a major joint offensive, separate teams of nearly 600 personnel belonging to the District Reserve Guard .
When the patrolling teams were near Minpa village forests, a group of around 250 heavily armed ultras ambushed them, leaving 15 personnel injured, he said.
The gun battle lasted for about two-and-a-half hours, he said. “Later, 17 personnel were found to be missing for which a search operation was launched. Today, their bodies have been recovered and the search team is on the way back, he said.
Earlier, the police in a statement said 14 police personnel were injured and 13 were missing after the gunfight. The injured personnel were airlifted to Raipur and admitted to a private hospital where the condition of two of them is stated to be critical, he said.
According to police sources, at least 16 automatic weapons, including AK47 and an Under Barrel Grenade Launcher (UBGL) were missing following the encounter.