Union Home Minister Amit Shah condoled the deaths of five security personnel killed in an encounter with Naxals on Saturday in Chhattisgarh and said their valour will never be forgotten.
Shah also said that the government will continue its fight against such "enemies" of peace and progress.
Taking to Twitter, the home minister wrote, "I bow to the sacrifices of our brave security personnel martyred while fighting Maoists in Chhattisgarh. Nation will never forget their valour. My condolences are with their families. We will continue our fight against these enemies of peace & progress. May injured recover soon."
I bow to the sacrifices of our brave security personnel martyred while fighting Maoists in Chhattisgarh. Nation will never forget their valour. My condolences are with their families. We will continue our fight against these enemies of peace & progress. May injured recover soon.— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) April 4, 2021
At least five security personnel were killed and 30 others injured on Saturday in an encounter with Naxals in a forest along the border between Bijapur and Sukma districts in Chhattisgarh, police officials said, adding some jawans are missing and efforts are on to trace them.
The body of a woman Maoist was also recovered from the encounter spot, police said.
"Among the martyred personnel, one belonged to the CoBRA unit and two each are from the DRG and the 'Bastariya' battalion of the CRPF," state's Deputy Inspector General (anti-Naxal operations) OP Pal said.
"Around noon on Saturday, an encounter broke out between the patrolling team that was dispatched from Tarrem and ultras belonging PLGA (Peoples' Liberation Guerilla Army) battalion of Maoists near Jonaguda village under Jagargunda police station area (in Sukma)," Pal said, adding the gunfight lasted for about three hours.
He said seven injured personnel were airlifted to Raipur and admitted to hospitals there while 23 others are undergoing treatment in the Bijapur district hospital.
"Some jawans are reported to be missing following the encounter and efforts are on to trace their whereabouts," he added.
Citing the "ground report", Pal claimed that Maoists have suffered a huge loss in the gunfight.
Condoling the death of the security personnel, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said their sacrifices will never be forgotten.
"My thoughts are with the families of those martyred while fighting Maoists in Chhattisgarh. The sacrifices of the brave martyrs will never be forgotten. May the injured recover at the earliest," Modi said in a tweet.
My thoughts are with the families of those martyred while fighting Maoists in Chhattisgarh. The sacrifices of the brave martyrs will never be forgotten. May the injured recover at the earliest.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) April 3, 2021
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel has condemned the incident and said the martyrdom of the jawans will not go in vain, and the anti-Naxal operation will be intensified, an official statement said.
"Our jawans have displayed exemplary courage by inflicting massive damage on Naxals (in this incident). Operation against Naxals will be intensified," the CM said.
Expressing his condolences, Baghel directed officials to ensure the best treatment to the injured jawans, the release said.
This was the second major Naxal incident in the state in the last 10 days.
On March 23, five DRG personnel were killed when Naxals blew up a bus carrying the security personnel with an IED in Narayanpur district.
(With inputs from PTI)