Five commandos injured during meetings with Naxals in Chhattisgarh

Five CoBRA staff members were wounded in two clashes with the Naxals in Bijapur district, Chhattisgarh, on Monday, the first phase of state elections, police said.

The skirmish took place at different locations in a forest of Pamed, about 500 km from Raipur. The commando battalion for resolute action (CoBRA) – an elite unit of the Central Reserve Police (CRPF) – was patrolling the area in preparation for the elections taking place in the region, said a senior police officer.

A group of Naxalites fired on a patrol team from the 204th CoBRA battalion, near the village of Empur. When security personnel retaliated, the rebels fled, the officer told PTI.

Deputy Inspector Lal Chand, injured, and a police officer, were taken out of the forest and admitted to the hospital, he said.

After the first incident, while the same patrol team was cordoning off a forest area near the village of Majiguda, the rebels again opened fire on them, wounding deputy commander Amit Deswal, gendarmes Sunil and Chaitanya, announced the 39; officer.

Reinforcements were sent to the scene and efforts were made to evacuate the three staff members, he added.

Votes in 18 constituencies in eight districts affected by Naxal, including Bijapur, were held on Monday.

About 1.25 lakh security personnel were deployed in the region to ensure a peaceful vote.