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Maoists kill four jawans

Raipur, Nov. 27: Four CRPF jawans, including one from Bengal, were killed after suspected Maoists ambushed their group today in a Chhattisgarh pocket that had defied the rebels’ call to boycott the recent elections.

The attack in Bijapur, which registered 41 per cent polling against 29 per cent in the 2008 elections, was seen as an act of frustration by the Maoists after they failed to disrupt the heavily fortified polls earlier this month.

The team from the 168 battalion of the CRPF had left the camp at Murkinaar in the district to carry out a recce of a forested hill road through which senior officers were supposed to pass later in the day. The CRPF had also organised an interaction with civilians in a nearby village.

The rebels, lying in wait at the spot, attacked the jawans moments after they reached the spot in the district’s Nukanpar area.

“The Maoists had taken up positions in the hills and opened fire on the jawans,” additional director-general of police R.K. Vij said this evening.

The four jawans collapsed and died on the spot in the first spray of bullets. As their stunned colleagues rushed for cover, a group of rebels came down from the heights and picked up the weapons of the slain personnel. Two Insas rifles, an AK-47 and a grenade launcher were taken away.

The slain jawans have been identified as Amitabh Mishra, 31, from Bankura in Bengal, Madan Lal Aahkey, 30, from Madhya Pradesh, Diganta Bayan, 28, from Assam and Dilip Kumar, 31, from Uttar Pradesh.