New Delhi (Sputnik) — According to eyewitnesses, about 300 Maoist guerrillas cornered the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel who were providing security cover for workers engaged in road construction work in the area. The Maoists, who vastly outnumbered the security forces, fired at them with automatic weapons, killing 26 CRPF personnel.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed deep sorrow about the attack and said the "sacrifice of martyrs will not go in vain."
Attack on @crpfindia personnel in Chhattisgarh is cowardly & deplorable. We are monitoring the situation closely.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) 24 апреля 2017 г.
We are proud of the valour of our @crpfindia personnel. The sacrifice of the martyrs will not go in vain. Condolences to their families.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) 24 апреля 2017 г.
Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh also expressed anguish over the incident.
Extremely pained to know about the killing of CRPF personnel in Sukma. My tributes to the martyrs and condolences to their families. 1/2
— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) 24 апреля 2017 г.
Spoke to MoS Home Shri Hansraj Ahir about the attack in Sukma. Shri Ahir is going to Chhattisgarh to take stock of the situation.— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) 24 апреля 2017 г.
The attack is one of the worst in recent years in the Bastar area.
Prime Minister Modi is personally monitoring the situation while Minister of State for Home Affairs is heading for Chhattisgarh state to take stock of the situation. The state Chief Minister Raman Singh held an emergency meeting.
Bastar district in the state of Chhattisgarh remains the most Maoist-affected area in India. For a long time, Indian forces have been fighting to flush out the Maoist insurgents from the hilly and forested area of Bastar. However, their efforts are met with similar attacks on the security forces every time.
Maoists control a vast, forested corridor-like tract that runs through the states of Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, West Bengal and Odisha. The rebels almost run a parallel government in the areas under their control.