A Reserve Inspector of Greyhounds, the elite anti-naxal force of the Andhra Pradesh police, was captured and killed by Maoists after he lost his way in the forest, while returning from Tuesday’s encounter site in Sukma district of Chhattisgarh.
The unfortunate police officer was part of the joint team of AP and Chhattisgarh police, besides the CRPF that participated in the ‘encounter’ close to the Inter-State border. The police parties, while retreating from the encounter site, had several exchanges of fire with the Maoists, said Khammam Superintendent of Police A.V. Ranganath.
Nine Maoists were killed in the intense exchange of fire on Tuesday with the police forces.
“All our personnel returned safely except one member, who was injured and sick. It is now confirmed that the Inspector is dead and the body is in the custody of Maoists. We are trying to recover the same,” he added.
According to sources in Chhattisgarh, the Inspector who got injured had missed the helicopter that was to fly him back to the base camp located at Bhadrachalam.
As the helicopter was engaged in the operation to airlift police personnel, it drew fire from the Maoists, following which it had to take off immediately, leaving the Inspector behind.
It is understood that while two or three other policemen also missed the chopper, they managed to trek back to the base camp, a distance of about 17 km through dense forest.
Because the Inspector was already injured, senior police officials surmised that he was not able to leave the encounter site fast enough to avoid capture.