Chhattisgarh cop killed in gunbattle with Maoists

RAIPUR,Mar 25 - A constable was killed and two policemen injured Tuesday after an hour-long gunbattle with Maoist guerrillas in Chhattisgarh’s Bastar region.

Police said the exchange of bullets began early morning in a forested stretch of Narayanpur district when a 75-member police search squad was on its way to raid a Maoist hideout.

‘Armed guerrillas carried out a flash attack, but the search squad retaliated immediately. The guerrillas had to run for cover in the nearby forests,’ said Pawan Deo, deputy inspector general, police headquarters.

Constable Ashwani Kumar, 24, was killed while his colleague Ramnath and special police officer Vishnu were wounded.

Bastar region has been a Maoist stronghold since the late 1980s. On Monday, four civilians were killed in the region’s Bijapur district because they were accused of being police informers.