12 cops missing in Chhattisgarh, police clueless
Raipur | December 21, 2007 4:05:16 PM IST
The police have no clue about the 12 policemen who went missing after a gunfight with the Maoist guerrillas Thursday evening in Chhattisgarh's Dantewada district, a senior police office said Friday.
"We are really clueless about the missing jawans. The search squads visited the encounter site and did not find either any body or any blood stains there," Girdhari Nayak, Inspector General of state's Maoist operation, told IANS by phone.
Heavily armed insurgents opened fire on a 33-member police team around 5 p.m. Thursday at the thick forest area of Taragura under Konta block in the state's most affected Dantewada district. But, only 21 cops in two batches returned back to their camps later in the evening.
Several police squads moved into the dense forest in the wee hours Friday searching for the missing cops, but they have failed in their efforts, Nayak said.
"We have not ruled out the possibility of the cops' abduction. The picture will become clear by evening as several search parties are still inside the forest," he said.
The policemen were on foot when the rebels carried out the attack. The missing cops included eight Special Armed Forces (SAF) personnel and four from the district Force (DF), Nayak added.
The site of the gun battle, located some 500 km south of state capital Raipur, is a bastion of the outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist).
The attack comes just four days after a group of Maoists successfully engineered a jailbreak in Dantewada, in which 299 inmates, including some 100 Maoists, escaped.
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