Chhattisgarh Armed Forces soldier killed in ambush

A wireless operator of the State police was injured when suspected Naxalites opened fire at an Indian Air Force helicopter (IAF) in the forests of the Jagargunda block on Friday, State police sources told The Hindu.

The Russian make MI 17 helicopter came under heavy fire in the evening as it was about to pick up an injured Chhattisgarh Armed Forces (CAF) soldier. “The CAF personnel went out on a search operation from the Chintagupha police station in Sukma. The team came under fire in phases resulting in the death of one personnel,” said a police official.

When the helicopter, which is capable of firing, was hovering in the area to pick up the injured at Temilwara, it came under heavy fire.

“One wireless operator of the State police, who was inside the helicopter was hit,” said the official.

The helicopter lost touch with air traffic control for about an hour, the sources said. “It could not be removed from the forests of Jagargunda as it was hit twice and its hydraulic system and generator stopped functioning.”

The officials told The Hindu that till late night the helicopter was still ‘stationed’ in the paddy field in the Jagargunda area. “It has been cordoned off by the CRPF, but details are still awaited,” said a senior security official.

It was also not clear whether the injured wireless operator was still in the helicopter or not.