Reported by Ranjan Rath with IANS inputs
Rayagada, Nov 21:
Seven CRPF jawans were injured when Maoists opened fire on them deep inside the Chintagufa forests in Sukma district of neighbouring Chhattisgarh bordering Odisha on Friday afternoon.
Five of them were injured when the Maoists opened fire on them during a joint combing operation in the Chintagufa forests by CRPF, DVF, CoBRA and Greyhound forces in the afternoon. A gun fight ensued between security forces and Maoists,
When an Air Force MI 17 helicopter reached the place to evacuate the injured jawans, the Maoists, who were hiding nearby, opened fired on it as well. Two of the seven jawans inside the helicopter were injured in the sudden attack. The helicopter was, however, not damaged in the Maoist firing.
“Rebels fired a few shots at IAF chopper Mi-17 in the violence-hit Chintagufa stretch when it tried to take off with five injured troopers,” Sukma Superintendent of Police D. Shrawan told IANS over phone.
He said flight gunner Mukesh Tiwari, who was wearing a bullet-proof vest, was hit in his leg.
Shrawan said the chopper was called for evacuation as Maoists injured five CRPF troopers in a fierce gun battle in Chintagufa as the area was largely inaccessible by road.
Despite shots being fired at the helicopter, the five injured troopers (one sub-inspector and four constables) were airlifted to Jagdalpur for treatment. Reports said one of the CRPF men was taken to a private hospital in Raipur as his condition was said to be serious.
Jagdalpur police have claimed that some Mapoists too were injured in the counter fire by security personnel. Combing operations in the area had been intensified, they said.