Two CoBRA jawans killed in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma after Maoists target their truck with an IED

In a tragic incident on a Sunday afternoon, two jawans of the Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) were killed when an improvised explosive device (IED) detonated. This blast occurred in the dense jungles between the Silger and Tekalgudem police camps in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma district. The Maoists, hiding in the jungle, planted the IED, targeting a truck transporting ration supplies for security forces stationed at the Tekalgudem police camp. This article delves into the details of this unfortunate event and explores the broader context and implications.

Background of the CoBRA Battalion

The CoBRA Battalion, an elite unit of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), was formed to combat insurgent groups, specifically Maoists. Known for their expertise in guerrilla warfare and jungle operations, CoBRA units are pivotal in counter-insurgency efforts across India. Their primary mission is to neutralize threats and ensure the security of areas prone to Maoist influence.

Incident Overview

The deadly IED blast claimed the lives of two CoBRA jawans. The truck, driven by Vishnu R (35) with Shailendra (29) seated beside him, was carrying essential supplies when it was hit near Timapuram village around 3 PM. The impact of the blast was devastating, leading to the immediate death of both jawans. Vishnu hailed from Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala, while Shailendra was from Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh.

Profile of the Victims

Vishnu R: Background and Service

Vishnu R, a dedicated member of the CoBRA Battalion, was known for his bravery and commitment. Originating from Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, Vishnu’s service in the unit exemplified his dedication to maintaining peace and security in conflict-prone regions.

Shailendra: Background and Service

Shailendra, another courageous jawan, came from Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh. His tenure with the CoBRA Battalion was marked by numerous operations aimed at curbing Maoist activities. Both Vishnu and Shailendra’s sacrifices underscore the perilous nature of counter-insurgency operations.

Context of the Attack

Maoist Activities in Chhattisgarh

Chhattisgarh, particularly the Sukma district, has been a hotbed of Maoist insurgency for decades. The dense forests and challenging terrain provide an ideal hiding ground for Maoist rebels, who frequently engage in guerrilla warfare against security forces.

Historical Context of the Area

The Tekalgudem area, once a stronghold of the People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA), the armed wing of the banned Communist Party of India (Maoists), has seen numerous conflicts. Security forces have been gradually reclaiming control, but the region remains volatile.

The Road Construction

Progress and Challenges

The road from Bijapur district to Silger has been completed, but the stretch from Silger to Tekalgudem is still under construction. This incomplete infrastructure has made it easier for Maoists to plant IEDs without detection, posing significant risks to security forces and civilians alike.

Role in the Security Situation

Road construction is crucial for ensuring better connectivity and rapid movement of security forces. However, the ongoing construction also provides opportunities for insurgents to disrupt progress and target forces, as seen in this recent incident.

Significance of Tekalgudem Police Camp

Strategic Importance

The Tekalgudem police camp holds strategic significance in the fight against Maoists. Established in an area that was previously dominated by insurgents, it serves as a critical point for launching operations and securing the region.

History and Recent Developments

The camp was set up on January 30, following a fierce day-long encounter where several jawans and Maoists were killed. The establishment of this camp marked a significant step in expanding security forces’ presence in the area, although it continues to face threats.

Previous Attacks in the Region

Notable Incidents

The region has witnessed several deadly encounters. In April 2021, 23 jawans were killed in an ambush by Maoists, highlighting the persistent danger in these forests. The CoBRA Battalion has frequently been at the forefront of these engagements, facing significant losses.

Impact on Security Operations

Each attack serves as a grim reminder of the challenges in securing these areas. Despite the losses, security forces remain resolute, continually adapting strategies to counter the insurgents’ tactics.

Maoist Strategies and Tactics

Use of IEDs

IEDs are a preferred weapon for Maoists, allowing them to inflict maximum damage with minimal risk. These devices are often hidden along roadsides or in dense vegetation, making them difficult to detect.

Guerrilla Warfare Techniques

Maoists employ classic guerrilla warfare tactics, including hit-and-run attacks, ambushes, and booby traps. Their intimate knowledge of the terrain gives them an advantage over conventional security forces.

Response from Authorities

Immediate Actions Taken

In response to the blast, security forces launched a search operation to track down the insurgents responsible. Increased patrols and surveillance were implemented to prevent further attacks.

Statements from Officials

Officials condemned the attack, emphasizing the bravery of the fallen jawans and reaffirming their commitment to eliminating Maoist threats. Senior leaders vowed to enhance security measures to protect personnel.

Impact on Local Communities

Reactions and Consequences

The local communities in Chhattisgarh are often caught in the crossfire between security forces and Maoists. The latest attack has heightened fears and tensions, disrupting daily life and fueling ongoing protests against violence.

Ongoing Protests and Tensions

Protests have persisted since the establishment of security camps, with locals demanding justice for those killed in previous incidents and calling for better protection from insurgent threats.

Security Measures and Future Plans

Enhancements in Security Protocols

In light of the recent attack, authorities are reviewing and upgrading security protocols. This includes better detection equipment for IEDs and increased intelligence gathering to preempt Maoist plans.

Future Infrastructure Projects

Despite the risks, infrastructure projects will continue, aiming to improve connectivity and support security operations. Ensuring safe construction practices and securing workers and materials remain top priorities.

Tributes and Honors for the Fallen Jawans

Ceremonies and Recognitions

Tributes poured in for Vishnu and Shailendra, with ceremonies held to honor their sacrifice. Their bravery and dedication were celebrated, underscoring the heavy toll of maintaining peace in insurgency-prone areas.

Messages from Leaders and Peers

Leaders and peers expressed their condolences and respect for the fallen jawans. Their messages highlighted the valor and dedication of CoBRA personnel, reinforcing the nation’s gratitude and support.

Challenges in Counter-Insurgency Operations

Terrain and Logistical Difficulties

The dense forests and rugged terrain of Chhattisgarh pose significant challenges for security operations. Moving troops and supplies through these areas is fraught with risks, complicating efforts to maintain control.

Coordination Among Security Forces

Effective counter-insurgency operations require seamless coordination among various security agencies. Ensuring timely communication and joint strategies is essential for tackling the Maoist threat.


The tragic loss of two CoBRA jawans in an IED blast highlights the ongoing struggle against Maoist insurgency in Chhattisgarh. Their sacrifice serves as a stark reminder of the dangers faced by security forces and the need for continued vigilance and improved security measures. As authorities enhance protocols and communities cope with the aftermath, the commitment to achieving lasting peace and security in the region remains unwavering.

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