New Delhi, Apr 7: A purported statement by Maoists on Tuesday claimed that they abducted a jawan during a recent gun battle with security forces in Chhattisgarh's Bijapur district and sought nomination of some mediators for his release.

A two-page statement reportedly issued by Dandakarnya Special Zonal Committee (DSZC) of the CPI (Maoists) said the abducted jawan "will be safe in their custody" and would be handed over to the police after mediation.

The statement is being looked into, a senior security officer and a CRPF commander said.

Twenty-two personnel from various security forces like the Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) of the Central Reserve Police Force, its Bastariya battalion and those from the District Reserve Guard and STF of the Chattissgarh Police were killed in the ambush that took place along the Bijapur-Sukma border on Saturday.

Thirty-one jawans were injured while CoBRA commando Rakeshwar Singh Minhas, belonging to its 210th battalion, went missing after the gunfight and was stated to be taken hostage by the Naxalites.

The security forces had claimed that they recovered the body of a female Maoist from the spot.

Signed by the spokesperson of the DSZC, Vikalp, the statement said the government should declare the name of some "mediators for the release of the captured jawan".

The statement claimed that the ultras looted 14 weapons, over 2,000 bullets and some other communication gadgets of the troops who were killed.

The statement added that four Naxals were killed in this ambush and added that they could not pick one body.

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Bengaluru, Apr 20: Karnataka has reported its biggest single day spike of 21,794 COVID-19 cases and 149 related fatalities, taking the total caseload 11.98 lakh and the toll to 13,646, the Health department said on Tuesday.

The state had previously reported its biggest single day spike of 19,067 cases on Sunday.

Out of the 21,794 fresh cases reported on Tuesday, 13,782 were from Bengaluru Urban alone.

The day also saw 4,571 patients getting discharged after recovery.

Cumulatively 11,98,644 COVID-19 positive cases have been confirmed in the state, which includes 13,646 deaths and 10,25,821 discharges,the Health department said in a bulletin.

Out of 1,59,158 active cases, 1,58,407 patients are stable and in isolation at designated hospitals, while 751 are in Intensive Care Units.

Among 149 deaths reported on Tuesday, 92 were from Bengaluru Urban, Bengaluru Rural (13), Bidar and Kalaburagi (7), Ballari (5), followed by others.

Among the districts where the new cases were reported, Bengaluru Urban accounted for 13,782, Tumakuru 1,055, Kalaburagi 818, Mysuru 699, Bengaluru Rural 513, Dakshina Kannada 482, followed by others.

Bengaluru Urban district topped the list of positive cases, with a total of 5,70,035, followed by Mysuru 63,018 and Ballari 42,745.

Among discharges too, Bengaluru Urban was on top with 4,49,889, followed by Mysuru 57,745 and Ballari 39,829.

A total of over 2,38,64,354 samples have been tested so far, out of which 1,47,488 were done on Tuesday alone.

To view today's health bulletin: CLICK HERE