Raipur: Five CoBRA personnel were injured in two encounters with the Naxals in Chhattisgarh’s Bijapur district on Monday, the first phase of the state elections, police said.
The skirmish took place at separate spots at a forest in Pamed, around 500 km from Raipur. The Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) — an elite unit of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) — was patrolling the area in view of the voting going on in the region, a senior police officer said.
A group of Naxalites opened fire on a patrolling team of the CoBRA’s 204th battalion when it was near Empur village. When the security personnel retaliated, the rebels fled from the spot, the officer told PTI. The injured, sub-inspector Lal Chand and a constable, were taken out of the forest and admitted to a hospital, he said.
After the first incident, when the same patrolling team was cordoning off a forest patch near Majiguda village, the rebels again opened fire at them, injuring assistant commandant Amit Deswal, head constable Sunil and constable Chaitanya, the officer said. Reinforcement was rushed to the spot and efforts were on to evacuate the three personnel, he added.
Voting in 18 constituencies of eight Naxal-affected districts, including Bijapur, was being held on Monday. Around 1.25 lakh security personnel were deployed in the region to ensure peaceful polling.