After CRPF suffers a massive blow in Sukma, force gets new DG

Sriparna Ghosh
Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar has taken charge as new DG of CRPF

Two days after the deadly ambush on a CRPF battalion which martyred 25 jawans, Senior IPS officer RR Bhatnagar on Friday, April 28 took charge as the new Director General (DG) of the CRPF.

The 57-year old IPS officer from the 1983-batch of the Uttar Pradesh cadre, took charge after he was accorded the ceremonial guard of honour at the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) headquarters on Lodhi Road, New Delhi.

Bhatnagar had been appointed as the new full-time DG on April 26, which until then had been lying vacant for nearly two months after DG K Durga Prasad retired on February 28. He will be heading a force of around 3 lakh troops until his retirement in 2019.

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After taking charge, he asked his officers to give him a briefing about the recent attacks on CRPF jawaans in Chhattisgarh that has claimed the lives of 25 troops.

Body of Naxalite recovered

Meanwhile, the security forces has recovered the body of a Naxalite from the Burkapal-Chintagufa area in south Bastar in Sukma where 25 CRPF personnel were killed earlier this week in an attack by the Maoists on Monday, April 24.

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"The body of a Naxalite was recovered last night from the forest, just 500 metres away from the spot where the gun battle had taken place between the CRPF and the rebels on April 24," Special Director General of Police (anti-Naxal operations) D M Awasthi told PTI.

Awasthi also added that security forces have been searching the area after receiving reports of Naxals being sighted in the area of ambush.

Though it had been earlier reported that several naxalites were gunned down during the one hour battle that the CRPF jawaans of the 74 Battalion were involved in, the rebels dragged away the bodies to the forest interiors making it difficult to have an exact count of the naxalites killed.

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The senior police officer said, "The search operation is underway in the interiors of the region to trace the ultras involved in the incident."

This attack was the second biggest attack on the paramilitary forces in this area in two months. On March 11, 12 men of the para-military force were killed in an ambush near the Bheji village.