Bijapur (Chhattisgarh): Twenty-four security personnel have been martyred and around 21 are missing after a fierce encounter with Maoists in Chhattisgarh’s Naxal-affected Bijapur district on Saturday.

CRPF Director General Kuldeep Singh arrived in Chhattisgarh this morning to take stock of the operational work and situation.

Of the 21 security personnel missing, 7 are from the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). Earlier, Union Home Minister Amit Shah spoke to Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel regarding the encounter. The Director-General of CRPF was asked by Union Home Minister Amit Shah to go on a state visit to take stock of the situation.

So far, 31 injured soldiers have been admitted to the hospital. Of these, 23 injured have been admitted to the Bijapur Hospital and the rest have been admitted to a hospital in Raipur. The condition of -12 security personnel among the injured is critical. 

In retaliation, the security forces have killed around 15 Naxalites and a search operation is going on in the area. This is the biggest Naxalite attack of this year.

For the last 10 days, security forces in Chhattisgarh were getting information about the whereabouts of Madvi Hidma, a top Naxalite of the banned group CPI (Maoist). 

His name has been associated with several major attacks, including the 2013 attacks in the Jhiram Valley. In 2013, more than 30 people, including senior leaders of the Chhattisgarh Congress, were killed in the Jhiram Valley Naxalite attack.

According to Bastar IG Sundarraj, there is still a possibility of the presence of Naxalites around the encounter area. In such a situation, the Reinforcement Party is proceeding cautiously. 

The body of a female Naxalite has also been reported to be recovered. Officials said that at least 15 Naxalites were killed in the Bijapur encounter.

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