The personnel were wounded when unseen assailants fired upon them, claims SP

Four of the six CRPF troopers wounded in Thursday’s ambush, in which 20 villagers and children were killed, were injured by gunfire while two sustained injuries from a fall, doctors in the Chhattisgarh capital said on Tuesday. The injuries of six CRPF troopers, recuperating in a private hospital, have acquired significance after villagers in Sarkeguda, Bijapur, said the police surrounded a village gathering and opened fire without provocation. As reported by The Hindu on July 1, the villagers said the security forces were not fired upon, and surmised that the police might have accidently shot and injured each other.

A Maoist spokesperson said their cadres were not present at the spot. While the State police and the CRPF have conceded to the possibility of innocents having been died, officials have pointed to the six injured troopers as proof of the authenticity of the incident.

Bijapur Superintendent of Police Prashant Agarwal told The Hindu that the six troopers were injured when unseen assailants fired upon the CRPF at Sarkeguda, prompting retaliatory fire.

“Of the six CRPF troopers admitted here, two received grievous injuries while the remaining four have superficial injuries,” said Ashok Zargar, Chief of Medical Services at the Narayana Hrudayalaya MMI Hospital, adding all were in stable condition.

Of the two grievous cases, doctors removed a pellet from the jaw of Head Constable Gyanendra Singh of the 204 CoBRA battalion, while Vahudul Islam of the same battalion was struck by a pellet that entered his body below ribcage and lodged in the chest.

Mr. Agarwal said the police had recovered 3 muzzle-loaded shotguns that could have been responsible for the injuries. “It is possible that they were hit when pellets ricocheted off a hard surface and struck them,” said a doctor familiar with the case.

Anurav Ghosh and Kishan Kumar of the same battalion, had no bullet wounds. While Mr. Ghosh fractured his foot from a possible fall, Mr. Kumar had a small wound above the ankle of the right leg that was bandaged, according to a medical report.

Of the two remaining troopers, K. Rajan (85th battalion, CRPF) was shot in the calf; the bullet was removed in Bijapur while the wound was treated in Raipur, doctors said. S.S. Rana of the 204 CoBRA battalion received a superficial bullet injury on the right thigh that was sutured and bandaged.