Seven CRPF jawans killed in Chhattisgarh landmine blast

Explosion was triggered by Maoists in Dantewada district

Updated - November 17, 2021 01:58 am IST

Published - March 30, 2016 05:44 pm IST - RAIPUR

The impact of the blast created a four-feet crater on the Dantewada-Sukma road. Photo: Special Arrangement

The impact of the blast created a four-feet crater on the Dantewada-Sukma road. Photo: Special Arrangement

Seven jawans of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) were killed in a landmine explosion triggered by Maoists in Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh on Wednesday.

“A vehicle of the CRPF’s 230th battalion was blown up by Maoists near the Malewara market on the Dantewada-Sukma road around 3 p.m. Seven jawans were martyred in the blast,” Dinesh Pratap Upadhyay, Deputy Inspector-General of the CRPF, Dantewada Range, told The Hindu.

The blast left a five-foot crater and blew the Tata 407 vehicle into pieces.

“The jawans belonged to the Ghusaras CRPF camp in Dantewada and were returning to the camp after leave for Holi,” District Superintendent of Police Kamlochan Kashyap said.

Two of the seven CRPF men had bullet injuries, suggesting the presence of Maoists at the spot.

According to some local sources, the Maoists had brought some people carrying traditional weapons, possibly to snatch weapons from the CRPF men. However, a reliable police source confirmed that all seven jawans belonged to the “non-combat” staff and were carrying no weapon with them.

Mr. Upadhyay confirmed that his men were shot at by Maoists even after the explosion.

“The blast was so powerful that the dead bodies were thrown 100-150 metres away. Almost all of them might have died in the explosion or would have been on the verge of death. But it is true that Maoists shot some of the bodies,” he added.

Mr. Kashyap said two bodies had bullet injuries.

The deceased jawans were identified as Sub-Inspector D. Vijay Raj, constables Pradeep Tirkey, Rupnarayan Das, Devendra Chourasia, Ranjan Dash and Mritunjoy Mukharjee and driver Saindane Nana Usesing.

The jawans were going in a single vehicle without any support party or the road opening party.

Asked whether there might have been some lapses on the part of the CRPF men, Chhattisgarh Special DG (Anti-Naxal Operations) D.M. Awasthi told reporters on the Assembly premises that the all CRPF men were in plainclothes. “We issued instructions a few days ago. We will investigate to find out what went wrong,” he said.

Chief Minister Raman Singh said an inquiry would be done to find out whether the norms were followed [by CRPF men] or not.

A special meeting of the Anti-Naxal wing was called in the evening at the residence of the officiating Home Minister, Ajay Chandrakar.

“The Maoists carried out the attack out of frustration. We make sure we take extreme precautions but some human mistakes happen. New instructions would be issued as per the situation. The Maoists are on the back foot and are targeting the innocent now,” Mr.Chandrakar said.

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