Three police personnel were shot dead by blackbuck poachers in a forest in the Guna district of Madhya Pradesh early this morning, police said
Rajeev Mishra, Superintendent of Police, Guna said that the poachers, who were armed with guns, opened fire at the police team from their motorbike after the officials confronted them.
Mr Mishra said that the police retaliated, but the poachers managed to escape taking advantage of the dense foliage.
"Sub-Inspector Rajkumar Jataw, head constable Sant Kumar Mina and constable Neeraj Bhargav were killed in the attack," he said, adding that the driver of the police vehicle was also injured and he has been admitted to a hospital for treatment.
The officials went to the forest near Saga Barkheda village under Aron police station jurisdiction in Guna district after police received a specific tip-off about some poachers camping in the area to hunt blackbucks.
Body parts of several blackbucks were recovered from the forest area. Police sources said the body of a person with a bullet injury, suspected to be a poacher and believed to have been killed in the retaliatory firing by the police, was also recovered from nearby Bidoria village.
Meanwhile, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has announced a compensation of Rs 1 crore each to the families of the three Police personnel, who were attacked and shot dead by poachers. He also said that the policemen will be given the status of martyrs.
The Chief Minister transferred the Inspector General (IG) of the Gwalior zone, Anil Sharma, for his "delay" in reaching the incident site.
"Criminals involved in the incident have been identified. The body of a man killed by a bullet was also recovered from a nearby village. But further investigation is underway. Strict action will be taken against the criminals to set an example," Mr Chouhan said.
Earlier today, Mr Chouhan chaired a high-level meeting at his residence this morning. Madhya Pradesh home minister Narottam Mishra, Director General of Police Sudhir Saxena, and other senior officials of police and the Guna administration attended the meeting.
Narottam Mishra condoled the death of the three police personnel and said that -instructions have been given to take strict action against the criminals.