Nine commandos were injured and a CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) jungle warfare unit, CoBRA (Commando Battalion for Resolute Action) officer killed from an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blast set off by Maoists in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma district, announced Sundarraj P, Inspector General of Police (Bastar range) today morning. The IED blast happened at around 9 pm on Saturday night at the Chintalnar forest area of Sukma when the 206th battalion and police were out for an anti-Naxal operation near the Aravraj Metta hills. They were also searching the area to induct the new five battalions of CRPF and to set up new camps in the area.
The official mentioned that the place comes under the Chintafuga police station limits which is 450 km from the capital Raipur. No exchange of fire happened at the spot. A Mi-17 V5 helicopter of the IAF was used to rescue the injured personnel from the blast to a private hospital in Raipur around midnight. Assistant Commandant Nitin P Bhalerao, 33 was the CRPF agent who died during the treatment. He was a resident of Maharashtra’s Nashik district. Bhalerao had been deemed best in many combat competitions and was a much-decorated commando, remarked a senior official. He became a CoBRA in 2019 after joining the CRPF in 2010.
Initial reports had suggested only five personnel had been injured, but later four more were also found to have been injured in the blast, said the official. CoBRA was formed in 2009 by CRPF as a special guerrilla combat wing to conduct anti-Naxal operations.
Image Source: Force India (Representative Image)