Maoists have stepped up their offensive on security forces in Chhattisgarh, killing six policemen in two separate attacks in Bastar, two days after they gunned down seven Special Task Force men in Sukma.
— Ashutosh Bhardwaj (@ashubh) April 13, 2015
After shooting dead one BSF man in Kanker late on Sunday night, police said, the Maoists blew up an anti-landmine vehicle on the Palnar-Kirandul road around 2.30 pm Monday, using a powerful IED packed with “at least 80 kg of explosives”, leaving a crater at least 12 feet deep.
The blast, which killed five men of the Chhattisgarh Armed Force (CAF), occurred near an under-construction police camp at Chaulnar in Dantewada.
“Such heavy explosives have not been used in Chhattisgarh in recent years,” Dantewada SP Kam Lochan Kashyap told The Indian Express.
Twelve people were inside the vehicle at the time of the attack after which the Maoists, who had taken up positions nearby, opened fire and launched grenades.
A rescue team led by Kashyap rushed to the spot and took the injured to a hospital nearby, run by the National Mining Development Corporation, where four of those injured died. The fifth security man died at a hospital in Jagdalpur.
With the attacks occurring within 24 hours of Chief Minister Raman Singh meeting senior officers in Jagdalpur to discuss the Sukma killings, the BJP government has come under fire from the opposition.
State Congress president Bhupesh Baghel demanded Singh’s resignation, saying that the “government has not been able to provide security to citizens. It has no right to govern”.
Police sources said that most of the Maoists attacks — staged under their Tactical Tactical Counter Offensive Campaign — usually occurred between February-June under favourable climatic conditions.
The site of the latest attack is near where the Maoists had killed six CISF personnel in May 2012. The thickly forested Palnar-Kirandul road — the area is often frequented by senior Maoist Ganesh Uike —- had no police presence earlier. It is for the first time that state police are constructing a post at Chaulnar where a company of the CAF have currently been deployed.
Four personnel of the Chhattisgarh Armed Force have been killed and several injured in a Maoist attack in Dantewada on Monday afternoon.