Attack fails to dampen jawans' morale

Maoist mayhem: Home they brought their warriors dead

Attack fails to dampen jawans' morale

Home Minister P Chidambaram and Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh visit a policeman, who was wounded in a Maoist attack, at a hospital in Raipur on Wednesday. Reuters

“Ladenge, ladenge...hum marenge, mauka lagega to peeche nahi rahenge (We will fight. Given a chance we will not turn our back. We will kill),” constable Ramesh Kumar, who sustained four bullet injuries on his chest and abdomen, said.

The incident, which could shake the confidence of even the brave hearts, however, could not deter these bruised jawans from giving a tough message to the Maoists who had ambushed them in the dense forests of Mukrana in Dantewada in Chhattisgarh on Tuesday.

“The attack happened around six in the morning. About a thousand naxals surrounded us from all sides,” constable Pramod Kumar of the 62nd battalion said. “They were hiding in jungles and in the surrounding hillocks and all of a sudden we were fired upon... we were in a single line... we did not get place to take position,” Kumar said, explaining the complex situation they had to face.

The jawans, lying in blood-stained bandages and still wearing the combat uniforms which they were wearing during the attack, have been admitted to two local hospitals here. They are being treated for gunshot injuries and those received from mine blasts. “They (naxals) had a huge strength and we were around 80... they surrounded us... kept on firing for seven hours,” another CRPF trooper Biplap Marker recounted.

“We have four police personnel who have come with multiple gunshot injuries as well as mine blast (injuries). One person has injury on his face, and also his eyes and peripheral parts of the body; the second has injury on the chest for which we have put a chest tube.

“The third one has got a gunshot wound in which a bullet was lodged in the spine which we have removed on Tuesday after admission and the fourth has an injury on the hip bone,” Ashok Argal, Chief Administrative Officer, Ramkrishna Care hospital, said. “It is learnt that the deaths were caused largely by IEDs, bullet injuries and crude bombs and, possibly, grenade injuries. Only the post mortem reports and a thorough inquiry, including debriefing of the injured jawans, can fully establish the sequence of the events and facts,” Union Home Minister P Chidambaram told reporters at Jagdalpur.

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