Several police officers in Andhra Pradesh walked in a candlelight protest on Monday evening, to mourn their colleagues who lost their lives in an attack by Maoists against COBRA (Commando Battalion for Resolute Action) jawans in the Bijapur-Sukma area of Chhattisgarh.
Sakhamuri Murali Krishna of Guntur district and Routhu Jagadeesh of Vizianagaram district were among 22 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawans who were killed on Saturday. The jawans were killed in an encounter in the Tarrem forests deep inside the Maoist stronghold.
The deceased jawans from Andhra Pradesh belonged to the COBRA 210 Battalion, an elite wing of the CRPF. They had joined the CRPF battalion a few years ago. The duo were among those who died in an encounter where around 400 armed Maoists circled in and attacked the jawans.
Among those who participated in the candlelight vigil were police officers KV Ramana, P Ravindra Babu, and M Keshava Rao. Apart from paying tribute to the jawans, they raised slogans against the Maoist menace. In Krishna district, Police Superintendent M Ravindranath Babu and others too paid homage to the jawans.
Apart from the 22 jawans who lost their lives, 32 others were severely injured in the encounter.
The firing happened on Saturday, during a major anti Maoist combing operation comprising of 2000 police personnel from Bijapur to Sukma districts in the South Bastar forests. This area is considered as a Maoist bastion.
Officers belonging to the CRPF, its elite unit COBRA and the District Reserve Guard and a Special Task Force were involved in the operation.
According to reports when the team that was sent to Tarrem was crossing a forest near Jonaguda located close to the capital city of Raipur, it was accosted by cadres of the PGLA(Peoplesâ€™ Liberation Guerilla Army) which ended in the killing of 22 personnel.