"THE Maoists came in large numbers and many of them were women. The attack was so brutal that the assailants chopped off limbs from jawans' bodies to make sure they had died". These are the gory recollections of 21-year-old Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) constable Aditya Singh - one of only two jawans from the 62nd battalion who survived the massacre by Maoists in Chhattisgarh on Tuesday.
Aditya has lost vision in his left eye after suffering bullet and splinter injuries during the bloodbath. He is currently admitted at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS)' s Rajendra Prasad Ophthalmic Centre, where he will undergo surgery soon.
Divulging fresh details about the attack, he said: ''The CRPF camp was in a jungle, so there were few villagers who reached the spot before reinforcements could arrive. But even they were too scared to help us.
The CRPF men who came later, took me and my other injured colleague to the local hospital.'' Aditya further recounted: ''The Maoists were armed to the teeth with sophisticated guns, bombs and ammunition. They butchered the CRPF jawans in cold blood.'' He said the encounter between the jawans and Naxalites lasted more than two hours. The Naxalites were well- prepared and had placed bombs all over the area. Aditya said though the Naxalites heavily outnumbered the CRPF jawans, the latter fought till their last breath.
'' All of us fought hard and injured many of them. I fired more than 120 bullets at the Naxalites and hit several cadre. Since I was running short of bullets, I moved to a side to take position. A bomb placed at the spot went off as soon as I stepped there,'' Aditya said. ''Many jawans died and eight of us got injured after the high-intensity blast took place,'' he added.
When the explosion took place, Aditya lost consciousness.
Even as he slipped in and out of consciousness later, he has a vague recollection of what the Naxalites did to him.
''I collapsed in a heap on the ground after the blast and blacked out. Later, I was semiconscious and remember that they came near me and kicked me. But I didn't move because my colleagues were all dead and I couldn't offer any resistance as the Naxalites' numbers were large. I wanted to kill all of them, but couldn't move because of my injuries,'' Aditya said.
''They thought I was dead and went away. I lay injured and bleeding at the spot with a pile of my colleagues' bodies strewn all over for more than six hours till the CRPF personnel arrived and rescued us,'' he added.
Aditya was airlifted from Raipur to the National capital on Wednesday and admitted at the Jai Prakash Narayan Apex Trauma centre of AIIMS at 9.30 pm. In view of the serious nature of his eye injuries which have left him partially blinded, he was later referred to the Dr Rajendra Prasad centre.
Aditya was also hit by a bullet on his chin.
Although Aditya has lost vision in his left eye, his spirits are not broken. In fact, he is raring to have a go at the Maoists even as he recuperates in the hospital.
''They have killed my people. They are disturbing the country's peace. The Naxalites should be punished,'' Aditya said. ''I am waiting for the day when I will recover from my injuries. Then I will return to teach them a lesson,'' he added. Soon after Aditya was brought to the National capital, officials from the Composite Hospital CRPF, New Delhi, were sent with him to the AIIMS as attendants.
Aditya was initially admitted to the Maharani Hospital in Jagdalpur in Chhattisgarh where he was given first- aid.
The CRPF constable was then referred to the Ram Krishan Eye Care Hospital in Raipur from where he was sent to the AIIMS for tertiary care and treatment.
Aditya belongs to Bulandshahr in Uttar Pradesh. He joined the CRPF in 2007. Raipur was his first posting. Aditya is married and has two sons. His father Uday Singh retired from the state's prisons department.
The wars in the world never end....