Pradhan also said that the security personnel’s commitment and sacrifice for the country will not go in vain. “India will never bow down to forces of terror,” he stated.
“Salute our brave security personnel who laid down their lives in an operation against the maoists in Chattisgarh. Their commitment and sacrifice for the country will not go in vain. My thoughts are with the families of our jawans. India will never bow down to forces of terror,” Pradhan tweeted.
At least 22 security personnel were killed, 32 injured and one jawan was reportedly missing in a four-hour-long encounter with Maoist that took place on Saturday afternoon in Chhattisgarh's Bijapur district.
On Friday night, separate joint teams of security forces, with over 2,000 personnel, launched a major operation from Bijapur and Sukma districts in the South Bastar forests, considered a Maoist stronghold. At around 12 noon, the Maoists laid an ambush, leading to an encounter that lasted for three hours.
Personnel belonging to the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), its elite unit CoBRA (Commando Battalion for Resolute Action), the District Reserve Guard (DRG) and the Special Task Force (STF) were involved in the operation launched from five places - Tarrem, Usoor and Pamed (in Bijapur), and Minpa and Narsapuram (in Sukma).
President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, several Union Ministers and Chief Ministers of various States condoled the death of jawans.