Two days after the Gadchiroli police arrested Delhi University professor G N Saibaba for alleged Maoist links, Naxalites triggered a powerful landmine blast on Sunday in an unlikely area of the district, killing seven policemen on the spot and leaving two grievously injured.
“The blast happened between 9 and 10 am when a police vehicle passing by Murmuri village in Chamorshi tehsil of the district was hit by a powerful IED explosion,” Inspector General of Police (Nagpur Range) Ravindra Kadam told The Indian Express.
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Two injured policemen were rushed to Nagpur by a chopper and their condition was stated to be critical. The police vehicle was returning from a routine anti-Naxal operation when it was struck.
Kadam admitted that they were surprised by the site of the attack, “where no Naxal activity was known previously”.
After suffering heavy setbacks at the hands of the police since January 2013, Naxals have of late been operating in small “action teams”. In another surprise attack, they had killed a policeman and a “Naxal guide” working for the police in a village market.
Saibaba was, meanwhile, remanded to magisterial custody for 14 days.
Names of the deceased policemen were not available immediately.
On March 11, fifteen security persons killed in Chattisgarh’s Sukma district.