Belly bomb shows Maoists have crossed all limits of depravity, says CRPF Director General

Amid reports of Maoists adopting more lethal tactics to target security forces, the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has intensified its operations in the left-wing extremism-affected States, particularly in Jharkhand’s Latehar district where the paramilitary force suffered casualties in an encounter with the rebels early this week.

“We will take forward the strikes. There will be no let-up in anti-Naxal operations,” CRPF Director General Pranay Sahay told journalists here after briefing Union Home Secretary R.K. Singh about the recent encounter and also about the detection of a powerful 1.5 kg. bomb inside the body of a jawan, who had been killed by the rebels.

Asserting that the morale of the force was “high,” Mr. Sahay said the CRPF would be enhancing the capabilities of its personnel and, if need arises, more units would be deployed in Jharkhand.

Already, the CRPF has deployed 18 battalions (18,000 personnel) in the State to counter Naxals.

The Jharkhand police and the CRPF have launched a major joint operation in the Maoist stronghold of Latehar, where they are entrenched for decades. Mr. Sahay has just returned after a four-day visit to Jharkhand where 14 people — 10 security personnel, including nine of the CRPF — were killed in the encounter.

Terming the planting of a bomb inside the body of a jawan as “barbaric,” Mr. Sahay said: “It is inhuman... This shows that Maoists have crossed all limits of depravity. The Jharkhand Police have detained some people in connection with the Latehar encounter.” The CRPF is alarmed over the bomb planted inside the stomach of the jawan, a first-of-its-kind tactic adopted by Maoists.

“Had the bomb exploded before being detected by doctors at a local hospital, it would have claimed many innocent lives. It was a booby trap where the IED was concealed inside the stomach, that had multiple stitches. The IED was a pressure bomb prototype which explodes on being disturbed. It is evident that Maoists are under tremendous pressure from security forces and thinking of new ways to target them,” a senior CRPF official said.

  • CRPF has already deployed 18,000 personnel in Jharkhand

  • Rebels under tremendous pressure from security forces, says official