“The police party was retuning to the Tandwa police station from a meeting on crime in the Nabinagar block when the IED went off”

Eight policemen were killed when their vehicle exploded in an Improvised Explosive Device [IED] blast in the Naxal-dominated district of Aurangabad on Tuesday.

“The police party was retuning to the Tandwa police station from a meeting on crime in the Nabinagar block when the IED went off,” Director General of Police Abhayanand said. The explosive, planted on the path to the police station, exploded between 4 p.m. and 4.30 p.m. On hearing the news, District Superintendent of Police and other senior officers from Patna rushed to the site of the attack.

Ajay Kumar, station house officer of the Tandwa police station; five personnel of the Special Auxiliary Force, namely Sanjay Kumar, Ashok Kumar, Madhukant Jha, Shivji Rai, Harinarayan Singh; Surendra Singh Yadav, a driver from the Home Guard and Sanjay Khushwaha, a Bihar Military Police constable, were killed in the attack, Aurangabad District Magistrate Abhijit Sinha told The Hindu.

The police found Mr. Khushwaha’s body later in the night. “He was not part of the escort party. He belonged to the nearby village and had taken a lift. His identity card was found at the spot,” Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) S.K. Bhardwaj said. “All the policemen hailed from the poor section of society,” Ravinder Kumar, Additional Director General of Police (Headquarters), said.

Maoist activity is more pronounced in the Nabinagar block, which comprises 25 panchayats and is marked by hilly terrain on the side bordering Jharkhand. “Some weeks ago there were reports of Naxals having harassed a panchayat representative. After that search operations were carried out in the area by the police,” Mr. Sinha said

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