The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Red trap nets 12 jawans, again

Raipur, Aug. 29: Twelve security personnel went missing after they walked into a well-planned trap laid by the Maoist guerrillas in Dantewada district this evening.

The senior police officers said the possibility of their survival was bleak.

According to inspector-general of police (headquarters) Girdhari Nayak, two police platoons comprising 40 personnel left for a road-opening in Tadmetla area under Jagargunda police station area in Dantewada district, about 550km south of the state capital, this afternoon.

When the security personnel reached the spot, the rebels cordoned off the area and opened indiscriminate firing from all corners as part of the ambush laid to net them.

The security personnel did not get much room to take position. Still, they gave befitting reply and forced the rebels to flee the spot after an hour-long battle.

The policemen returned to Jagargunda about 4pm and were stunned to count that 12 of them were missing.

Of the 28 personnel who returned, six were injured.

They were admitted to a government hospital in Jagargunda, where their condition was reported to be stable.

Soon after receiving the information, Dantewada superintendent of police Rahul Sharma, along with senior officers and additional force, rushed to the spot in search of missing policemen.

Of the missing policemen, eight are special police officers — villagers trained and armed by the state government to combat the rebels.

The others include three Chhattisgarh Armed Force jawans and the station house officer of Jagargunda police station, who was leading the teams.

There was no report from the spot nor any of the missing personnel had reported to the nearest police station till late in the evening.

“The possibility of missing personnel alive is bleak,” Nayak said, adding that it would be cleared by late tonight or tomorrow morning once the senior officers reach the spot.

According to Nayak, the jawans and officers have to walk some 40km to reach the spot, as they cannot use any vehicle fearing ambush laid by the rebels to target the reinforcement.

This was the second major attack on the security personnel in the past two months.

On July 9, the rebels invited the security personnel into their trap and killed 24, including 16 jawans of Central Reserve Police Force, in the forests near Mariyaguda village. The bodies of the security personnel were recovered only after a day.

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