An alert has been sounded in all seven districts of the Naxal-hit Bastar division in Chhattisgarh following the deadly attack by Naxalites in Dantewada which claimed the lives of 10 police personnel and one civilian, police said on April 27.
“Security forces have been asked to stay cautious while moving in a vehicle and conducting de-mining exercises to detect the Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) planted by Naxalites after the attack on April 26,” they said.
"A high alert has been issued to all district superintendents of police in Bastar region in the wake of the attack in Dantewada," Inspector General of Police (Bastar range) Sundarraj P told PTI.
Bastar region, which comprises seven districts namely Kanker, Kondagaon, Narayanpur, Bastar, Dantewada, Sukma and Bijapur, has witnessed several deadly attacks on security forces in the past, particularly in summer during which rebels carry out the annual 'tactical counter offensive campaign' (TCOC) and step up their offensive activities. Security forces have always been put on alert during this period.
Their wreath-laying ceremony was held earlier on Thursday following which the mortal remains were sent to their native places for final rites. Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel was among those who paid homage to the martyred policemen.
Ten police personnel and a civilian driver were killed after Naxals blew up a Multi-Utility Vehicle (MUV) which was part of a convoy carrying security personnel in Aranpur police station area of Dantewada on Wednesday afternoon.
The blast was carried out using an IED containing an estimated 40 kg of explosive material. Visuals from the spot showed a huge crater across the road at the blast site, almost 10-feet deep. The MUV was completely destroyed in the blast.
This was the biggest strike by Naxalites on security forces in the State in the last two years. The area where the blast took place is around 450 km from State capital Raipur.
The deceased security personnel belonged to District Reserve Guard (DRG) an anti-Naxal unit of the State police. Out of the 10 deceased personnel, eight were residents of Dantewada district while one each belonged to neighbouring Sukma and Bijapur district. Some of them had joined the force after quitting Naxalism.
The DRG personnel are mostly recruited from the local tribal population and Naxals who have surrendered in the Bastar division.