Raipur: More than 24 hours after the attack, police on Sunday retrieved the bodies of seven STF personnel killed on Saturday in a Naxal ambush in Polampalli forests in the insurgency-hit Sukma district of Chhattisgarh.
Although bad weather and hostile terrain had hampered the evacuation operation this morning, the security forces finally recovered the bodies of the martyrs.
Amid heavy security, the bodies of the Special Task Force personnel were taken to Kankerlanka camp (around 12 kms from the ambush spot), Additional Director General of Police (anti- naxal operations) RK Vij said.
"From Kankerlanka, the bodies will be airlifted to Jagdalpur district headquarter, where tribute would be paid to the martyrs," Vij added.
Seven STF personnel were killed and ten others injured on Saturday when Naxals ambushed them in the forests of restive Pidmel village under Polampalli police station limits, around 450 kms from the state capital Raipur.
The rebels also looted weapons of the martyrs and injured troops before fleeing.
"Due to prolonged gun-battle, bodies of the martyred personnel could not been retrieved from the forests yesterday, whereas bad weather and hostile terrain affected the evacuation operation this morning," the ADG said.
However, while cordoning off the region, security forces reached near Pidmel village this afternoon and eventually brought the bodies to Kankerlanka, he said, adding, arrangements have been made to shift them to Jagdalpur from Kankerlanka.
Early this afternoon, Home Minister Ramsewak Paikra, School Education Minister Kedar Kashyap, State's Director General of Police AN Upadhyay, Special DGP (Operation) CRPF Durga Prasad and other officials reached Jagdalpur and met the injured jawans at Maharani Government Hospital.
The ministers instructed the doctors to provide best possible treatment to the personnel and wished for their speedy recovery. Doctors informed them that the health of the injured has improved and they are out of danger.
Seven of the injured are undergoing treatment at Raipur, while three have been admitted at Jagdalpur. Chief Minister Raman Singh has left for Jagdalpur from Raipur by air.