D. Chandra Bhaskar Rao
|Many of them, though armed, died without firing a shot|
Naxalites fired on police from vantage positions
Take away arms and ammunition
AMBUSHED: Bodies of the Chhattisgarh policemen lying in the jungle near Pamedu on Saturday, almost 18 hours after the Maoist ambush.
PAMEDU (Chhattisgarh): Eleven policemen of Pamedu police station fell prey to the guerrilla tactics of the Maoists on Friday evening.
The police party, returning from Charla to its headquarters, was taken unawares by the attack. Many of them, though armed with sophisticated weapons, died without firing a single shot in retaliation. The raid was suspected to be the handiwork of the young cadres of the left wing extremist group undergoing training in the vast timber reserves of the Bastar region.Machine gun attack
The naxalites, who spearheaded the attack, may not have numbered more than five to six. Taking positions behind a huge rock, they sprayed bullets from a light machine gun.
They also used a short weapon and a country-made gun. They fired some 80 rounds on the police party passing by without giving them any scope to retaliate.
Some militant members of the CPI (Maoist) had spread out themselves in the jungle posing as cattle grazers. They pounced upon police constable Shankar Rao who, however, managed to escape.
Ten members of the police party strayed into the jungle after escaping the wrath of the Maoists. Nine of them reached Pamedu police station at 7 a.m. on Saturday. Another constable Ramu retreated to Charla to give a first-hand account of the incident.
He said the naxalites took positions from a vantage point and opened fire on the police party without giving them any chance to fight back. The Maoists took away one LMG, an AK 47 rifle, five SLRs, two Insas rifles and two 303 rifles. The Maoists were also aware of the fact that the police party ventures out of Pamedu village on either the second or third of every month to receive the "barthan party" - a team of police personnel which comes to Charla with pay packets.
The Maoists could have launched the attack either for the sake of the weapons or the money. The police officials at Pamedu, however, denied they had lost any money.
The militant members snatched away the shoes, wrist watches, gold and silver rings, pens and all other valuables the constables were carrying with them.
A press team from Khammam district was the first to arrive on the spot at 8 a.m.
The police at Pamedu mobilised some 300 civilians and sent them to the spot around noon. The bodies were later brought out of the jungle in a tractor. They were shifted to Charla in an ambulance.Compensation
IGP (Dantewada) Rajinder Umar Vij said that the kin of those constables and head constables killed in the ambush would get a compensation of Rs.16 lakh each. It includes Rs.10 lakh from group insurance and Rs.1 lakh from the welfare fund.
The bodies were brought to Bhadrachalam from where they were taken back to Chhattisgarh by road.