30 cops killed in Maoist attacks in Chhattisgarh

30 cops killed in Maoist attacks in Chhattisgarh

Superintendent of police also falls victim to ambush by militants

 In one of the worst Maoist attacks in the state, weeks after the Lalgarh retreat in West Bengal, Rajnandgaon Superintendent of Police Vinod Kumar Choubey was killed while he was leading police reinforcements for Madanwada. The Naxals had killed two policemen in the morning there, according to Deputy Inspector General of Police Pawan Dev.

This is the first time in an over three-decade-old Maoist militancy in Chhattisgarh that an official of the rank of superintendent of police was killed by the radical Leftists. Earlier in April, five polling officials were killed in a landmine blast in Rajnandgaon, which is about 90 km from Raipur.

The Maoist-triggered violence, which has already claimed 148 lives in the state this year, occurred at Madanwada, Khoregaon and Sitagaon in the Manpur police station limits. After the SP’s team was ambushed, there was intense firing, and in the gunbattle Choubey and 23 other policemen lost their lives, Dev said.

In a separate attack, the Naxals set off landmines and ambushed another police team, which had left Sitagaon for Madanwada. Four policemen were killed in the incident.
 The CRPF rushed 600 of its men to the spot. The troops, belonging to the Rajnandgaon-based 188th battalion, were rushed to the spot to start combing operations against the militants.

“A battalion strength (around 1,000 men) of the force is being sent to the spot for starting combing operations and sanitising the area. Six companies (comprising 600 men) have been sent initially,” a senior CRPF officer said.

The Station House Officer of the Madanpara police station area was also killed in the attack, official sources said.

Temporary camp

Additional reinforcements and communication equipment would also be sent as the CRPF troops would set up a temporary camp there, the sources added. Dev said two jawans were killed by the ultras at Madanwada after they had left their camp for ablution in the morning. The bodies of the policemen were taken by helicopter to the Manpur police station, and the SP’s body was sent to Rajnandgaon.

The death of Choubey, who had earned reputation as a sharp and bold police officer in the state, has shaken up the police force. All high-ranking officials, including Director General of Police Vishwaranjan and Home Minister Nankiram Kanwar, rushed to the attack site.

Several injured were admitted to the Rajnandgaon district hospital, while a few others were airlifted to the state capital Raipur for advanced medical attention.

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