Raipur: A Station House Officer (SHO) and four police jawans were on Friday killed and three others injured, one of them critically, in a Naxal ambush in Maoist-hit Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh, police said.
Naxals also torched vehicles of the police personnel and looted their weapons before fleeing the spot, they said.
"The incident took place when a police patrol party headed by SHO Kuwakonda, Vivek Shukla was on its way to Shyamgiri Hills for security of an under-construction road near Kuwakonda-Bacheli (located around 450 kms from Raipur)," Additional Director General of Police (Naxal Operation) R K Vij told PTI.
The patrol team comprising 12 police personnel was moving on six motorcycles in Shyamagiri hills region, which lies at around 5 kms from Kuwakonda police station, when about 100 armed rebels opened indiscriminate firing on them, resulting in the death of the Sub-Inspector rank state police official Shukla and four other policemen on the spot, Vij said.
The other martyrs were identified as Chhavilal Kashi, Sandeep Sahu, Dhaneshwar Mandavi, Navalksihore Shandiya (all constables), the ADG said.
The injured - constable Pushpendra Kumar, assistant constable Pardeshi Ram and constable Bhagirathi Mandavi - were being airlifted to Raipur for treatment, Vij said.
Four other police personnel have returned to their fold safely.
Before fleeing from the spot, naxals set ablaze three motorcycles and looted one AK-47, two SLR and a Insas rifle from the policemen, he said.
Soon after getting the news of the attack, reinforcement was rushed to the spot. As per initial information, 6-7 personnel were killed in the incident, the ADG said.
However, when additional forces reached the spot they confirmed five deaths and missing report of a jawan Lachhuram Bhogami who later reached the police station safely, he added.
Security forces were pressed into an intense search operation in the region to trace the attackers, he added.
Chief Minister Raman Singh has condemned the attack and expressed grief over the martyred policemen.
The naxals have carried a cowardly act which has again proved that they are against providing basic facilities like road to villagers, he said.