A day after an eight-year-old girl was killed after she stepped on an IED planted by Maoists in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma district, a 55-year-old woman lost her life after reportedly stepping on a pressure IED in Gorkha area of the same district on Friday.
Senior police officers said this was a result of attempts by Maoists to prevent construction of roads in the Maoist-hit areas.
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The two back-to-back deaths led to anger, with protests across district headquarters. Chief Minister Raman Singh condemned the deaths, saying the “Maoists were playing violent games with the lives of people”.
D M Awasthi, Special DG, Anti-Naxal Operations, said the accident took place on Injeram Bhejji Road in Sukma in which 55-year-old Muchaki Hidma lost her life.
“She was from Kosipara in Gorkha and it appears that she had gone out to collect mahua. She has four children.
Similar to the IED planted on Thursday, which resulted in the death of an 8-year-old girl, this mine, too, was placed just beside the road. These are roads that are being constructed by the administration and the Maoists are attempting to prevent them from being built and are using such methods to oppose them,” he said.
Last week, another explosion had claimed the life of a CRPF personnel, leaving another officer in coma. On Thursday, the forces had also recovered a 10 kg IED near Gorkha, very close to Friday’s explosion site.
Data accessed by The Indian Express showed that in 2015, a total of 64 IED blasts took place on roads in Bastar, resulting in 12 deaths and 65 injuries to security personnel. Five civilians were injured with a total of 208 mines recovered by security forces.
CM Singh Friday announced a compensation for Rs 5.3 lakh for the family of Anita, the eight-year-old girl killed on Thursday, besides an additional Rs 20,000 to her family by the Bastar IGP. The government has also announced Rs 5 lakh relief to Muchaki Hidma’s family.