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     Raipur, March 11, 2014: In a major attack Maoists today killed 15 security personnel and a civilian in Sukma district of Chhattisgarh.

      However, the state Government refused to deploy Army against the red rebels.

     “Fifteen security personnel and one civilian were killed by Maoists in Jhiram Ghati today,” Chief Minister Dr Raman Singh told reporters here this evening.

      The police party was on a road opening operation when Maoists ambushed them, the Chief Minister said.

      Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Sinde would be arriving here to review the situation, Singh said.

     The Home Minister would also visit the site of gun battle in Tongpal area of Sukma district.

     “Home Minister is coming tomorrow and we will discuss the matter in details,” the Chief Minister said.
     To a question the Chief Minister refused to deploy army to tackle the Maoist violence saying “no question of that”.

     Today’s gun battle site is close to the Jhiram Ghati, where on May 25 last year, Maoists had massacred many top Congress leaders, in which 30 people were killed.

     The incident assumed significance as dates for Parliamentary election has already been announced and Bastar region, where this incident took place, would go to poll on April 10.

      Many considered this as a pre-cursor to Lok Sabha election.

     Although the Chief Minister said 16 people were killed, but the Chief of Anti-Maoists operation Rajinder Kumar Vij, before flying to the encounter site,  said 20 people were killed in that incident. 

     However, DIG Dipanshu Kabra, later on, clarified that 16 people were killed in that incident. When his attention was drawn to the figure of 20 killed, Kabra said there were multiple reports pouring in from the field. That might have created confusion, he said.

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