Jagdalpur (Chhattisgarh): Central and state government leaders on Wednesday paid their last respects to the 76 CRPF personnel killed in the deadliest Naxal attack on security forces on Tuesday in jungles of Dantewada district.
Home minister P Chidambaram, who flew in here from New Delhi via Raipur, placed a wreath in front of the bodies of the slain jawans, 75 of whom belonged to the CRPF. One head constable of the state police deputed with the paramilitary unit was also killed in the attack.
Timeline | Red Terror
Chidambaram also met some of the family members of the dead jawans.
State governor Shekhar Dutta, chief minister Raman Singh and senior state police and paramilitary officers also paid their homage to the personnel.
The home minister is expected to review the Maoist menace at a high-level meeting with the state authorities.
The personnel, who appeared to have walked into the naxal’s “trap”, were killed when they were literally caught sleeping in the Mukrana forests of Dantewada district, one of the strongholds of the Naxals.
The personnel were returning to the base camp as part of a joint operation when they came under fire from hill features just about four kilometres away.
Virtually an entire company of the CRPF was wiped out when 75 of its personnel including deputy commandant Satyawan Singh Yadav and assistant commandant B L Meena were killed.
The attack shook the Centre and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh held a meeting with Chidambaram and assessed the situation. Both of them expressed shock over the attack and grief over the loss of lives.
Prime Minister had called it a “horrific” incident. Chidambaram, rattled by the “very high” casualty, said something must have gone “drastically wrong” in the joint operation as the personnel seemed to have walked into a trap.