RAIPUR: Acting on a specific tip-off about the presence of two top Maoist leaders Madvi Hidma, the People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army’s (PLGA) battalion number 1 commander, and Sujatha, an associate — in the Jagargunda-Jonaguda-Tarrem belt turned out to be a tap. The security forces had fallen prey to the trap. Up to 2,000 personnel from six camps were mobilised to intercept the outlaw duo. This included those from the CRPF’s specialised jungle warfare unit CoBRA, a unit of its Bastariya Battalion, and the District Reserve Guard.
Once one of the teams reached the spot where the Left-wing terrorist commanders were to be found according to the intel, some 400 Maoists encircled the security personnel from three sides.
A heavy gun battle ensued in the jungle, and while the forces fought back with all their might, they suffered huge losses due to the ultras’ tactical advantage, officials said.
Up to 22 personnel were killed in the line of duty and over 30 sustained injuries, they said. The Maoists looted some two dozen assault weapons from the forces. The security personnel took cover behind large trees and kept firing till they ran out of ammunition, officials said.