Maoists rebels had killed 17 policemen in Maharashtra on Thursday, a couple of days after they had beheaded a police officer in Jharkhand.
Over 100 Maoists ambushed an elite police team that was conducting regular exercise from Laheri Police Outpost in Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra state.
Later, the gun battle between the Maoists and the policemen lasted for more than four hours, resulting in the fatal injuries to 17 cops and injuries to many other personnel.
Seventeen cops including a sub-inspector were killed in the ambush and there were no reports of any causality from Maoists side.
The police team had gone to the spot to take a stock of preparedness for the October 13 assembly elections.
"When we came to the police station, we learnt that the Maoists had laid an ambush one kilometre away from the police station. We went there and an encounter took place. We recovered grenades and other arms from them. Then we carried out a search operation in the forest area and found two Maoists, we opened fire and one was injured. Then we found ourselves surrounded by about 200 Maoists," said Rajendra Sariya, one of the injured policemen receiving treatment at a local hospital in Nagpur.
The doctors said that all the four were recovering.
"Two have been operated and they are recovering and other two are all right, we will be doing MRI on them. All four are expected to recover soon," said Dr. Shishir Shrivastava, medical officer at a civil hospital in Nagpur.
The Maoists, who say they are waging war on behalf of the poor, the landless and the marginal farmers against the state, have taken effective control of large swathes of the countryside, scaring off potential investors while in control of land, rich in minerals.
Hundreds are killed in Maoist violence each year, as security forces clash with rebels and civilians get caught in the crossfire.
The Maoists also extort money from businesses community and they have opposed industrialisation.
Meanwhile, Nitin Gadkari, Maharashtra BJP's State unit chief visited the injured police personnel undergoing treatment.
"It is a situation where we find police unable to counter Maoists attack and the reason is political interference in the working of the police department, wrong people are given postings, which has led to the demoralisation among the forces. That is why they are unable to counter such attacks," said Nitin Gadkari, Maharashtra state President of Bharatiya Janata Party.
Earlier this week, Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram had said that the Government was willing to talk to the Maoists about issues such as poverty and corruption that are often blamed for stoking the insurgency, but insisted that the rebels must first stop violence and also surrender all their arms and ammunition. (ANI)