Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar has donated Rs 1.08 crore – Rs 9 lakh each – to the families of the 12 Central Reserve Police Force jawans killed in an encounter in Sukma, Chhattisgarh, on March 11. Director General of Police of Jaisalmer (North) Amit Lodha told The Times of India on Thursday, “When I told him about the Sukma incident, he immediately told me he would like to contribute and do his bit for the families of the martyred jawans,” adding that Kumar enquires about such incidents often.

Officials told PTI that the actor had requested the Home Ministry for bank account numbers of the families to make the donation, after which the CRPF was asked to share the details. Kumar transferred Rs 9 lakh each into their bank accounts on Wednesday, they added.

“Kumar’s gesture exhibits his patriotism and devotion towards the country in general and towards the CRPF in particular,” the paramilitary force said. Home Minister Rajnath Singh, too, appreciated the deed. “The generosity of Shri Akshay Kumar is highly commendable. This gesture will inspire others to come forward and help the families of martyrs,” he said on Twitter.

The 219 battalion’s CRPF soldiers were ambushed by Naxalites in Bhejji when the troops were guarding a road being built between the village and Injeram on National Highway-30. The militants had used locally-made mortars, tiffin bombs, and arrows with explosives attached to their heads. The Chhattisgarh Police had said the Naxalite attack was planned and executed with “deadly accuracy”.