Bijapur: Three CRPF personnel were Friday killed in an encounter with Naxals here. A young girl who was caught in the crossfire during the encounter in this district of Chhattisgarh also died, police said.
The gun battle took place around 11 am close to a culvert near Keshkutul village when a joint team of the CRPF’s 199th battalion and state police was out on an area domination patrol on motorcycles, Bijapur Superintendent of Police Divyang Patel said. Two girls were caught in the crossfire. One of them died, while the other was injured, Patel added.
The motorcycle-borne patrolling team was heading towards Bhairamgarh from its camp in Keshkutul, which falls under the Bhairamgarh police station area.
When the team was advancing through Keshkutul, the personnel were ambushed by a group of armed rebels and a gunfight ensued. While two CRPF men were killed on the spot another later succumbed to injuries, officials said.
The deceased CRPF personnel have been identified as assistant sub-inspectors P Mahadeva (50) and Madan Pal Singh (52) and head constable OP Saju (47), officials said. While Mahadeva hailed from Gulbarga in Karnataka, Singh was from Aligarh in UP and Saju from Idukki in Kerala.
The two minor girls travelling in a goods carrier were caught in the crossfire when their vehicle was passing through the encounter spot.
Reinforcement has been rushed to the spot and the injured were admitted to a hospital in Bhairamgarh, Patel said. During a search of the encounter spot, two pressure improvised explosive devices (IEDs) were recovered, Patel said.
Another official however stated that the Naxals looted and AK-47 rifle, its four magazines, one bulletproof jacket and a wireless set of security forces during the encounter.