Raipur: Three people were killed in a crossfire when a gunfight ensued between banned armed Maoists guerrillas and security forces in a forest along the border of Bijapur and Sukma districts in Chhattisgarh on Monday.
It hasn’t been yet identified whether the deceased were Naxals or civilians, a police official of Bastar police said.
No casualty among the security forces were reported till the time.
Inspector General of Police (Bastar range) Sundarraj P informed the media a gun-fight broke out after Naxals opened fire at a newly set up police camp at Silger in Sukma along the inter-district border. "For the last few days, a group of villagers were staging a protest in Silger against the raising of the police camp, considered as a core area of Maoists.
The police camp was set up last week," the IG said.
According to police, the villagers had staged the protest allegedly under pressure from Naxals.
Amid the protest, armed Naxals opened fire at the camp taking cover of the villagers at around 12:30 pm on Monday, following which the security personnel retaliated, the police official said.
"Meanwhile, bodies of three persons were recovered from the encounter site. It was yet to be ascertained whether the deceased were Naxals or civilians," the IG said.
Reinforcement was rushed to the spot and further details were awaited, he added.
The encounter spot is located eight to 10 km away from the place where Maoists ambushed and attacked a joint police party on April 3 in Sukma-Bijapur border and brutally killed 22 security personnel.
Source said, jawans of CRPF Sarkeguda, CRPF Murunda and Police of Awapalli reached the spot.
Additional SP Pankaj Shukla was also spotted on the spot.
Even after the incident tension is yet to be diffused. The villagers gathered near the Silger camp were still staging demonstrations against the police and newly erected police camp, added the sources.