One police official, three Central Reserve Police Force personnel, and a villager acting as a Special Police Officer (SPO) suffered injuries when an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) was triggered while they were trying to remove it in Chatra district in Jharkhand on Thursday afternoon.
Assistant Superintendent of Police (Operations) RS Mishra, constables Tambay Vikram and Satveer Singh of CRPF's 134 Battalion, an assistant sub inspector of police and SPO Mohammad Sajad were airlifted from Chatra to a hospital in Ranchi for treatment. The incident happened three days after the Maoists ambushed CRPF and police personnel in Chattisgarh's Sukma district killing 15 of them.
“We had received information that Maoist squads have moved into Palamu and Chatra districts and that they had planted IEDs in a location near river Dhulki in Pratapur. The police and CRPF team had left to search for and remove the IED, a cane bomb. It was triggered while they were trying to remove it at a spot 1.5 km from CRPF picket at Chak,” said Chatra's Superintendent of Police Prashant Karan. Jharkhand has a sanctioned strength of 6400 SPOs for helping police gather intelligence, though officials put the current number at 3000.
Meanwhile, addressing a press conference in Dumka, former chief minister Babulal Marandi said that he faced a threat to his life during the general elections. “I have come to know there may be an attempt on my life. I do not have adequate security,” said Mr Marandi who leads Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik) and headed the first government in the state in 2000. Mr Marandi's son Anup Marandi was killed in a Maoist attack in Chilkhadia in Giridih district in 2007.
“It is the state's responsibility to provide Mr Maranadi adequate security, we hope they will take notice and respond,” said JVM(P)'s principal general secretary Pradeep Yadav.