Villager killed in crossfire between security forces, Naxals

Raipur : A villager was killed and another injured when they were reportedly caught in a crossfire between security forces and Maoists in Chhattisgarh’s insurgency-hit Bijapur district today, police said.

The incident took place in the wee hours when joint team of CRPF’s 168th battalion and district force was out on an anti-Maoist operation near Timmapur village under Basaguda police station limits, Bijapur Superintendent of Police KL Dhruv said.

Acting on inputs about the movement of rebels, security forces had launched the operation from its Timmmapur camp, around 450 kms away from here, to adjoining areas late last night, he said.

On way backclose to the camp, they came under fire from ultras prompting them to retaliate. However, the exchange of fire soon stopped after rebels escaped, he added.

During searches, they spotted two men who had reportedly sustained injuries in the cross fire, in the forests. They rushed the injured to Basaguda hospital where one of them was declared brought dead, the SP said.

“The deceased was identified as Punem Nandu, a native of Timmapur,” he said adding that another injured man- Kaken Suklu- a resident of the same village, was undergoing treatment at Basaguda.

However, a CRPF official claimed that the deceased and injured villager could be jan-militia members who handle the village level operations of the Maoists.

“Investigation is being done to ascertain the background of both the villagers,” the paramilitary official said on the condition of anonymity.

Notably, CRPF Director General K Durga Prasad is visiting Bijapur district today along with other paramilitary officials to inaugurate the newly set up camp of CRPF’s 229th battalion.