| A jawan looks for his belongings in the rubble. Picture by Pankaj Kumar
Bokaro, April 7: A day after the daring attack by Maoists, the CISF camp at Khasmahal, barely 300 metres from Bokaro Thermal Township, looked as if a storm had blown over it.
Heavy explosives and grenades had ripped through the seven rooms in the camp while a CISF truck, parked inside the camp, appeared to have borne the brunt of a mine-blast.
The rebels used country-made rocket launchers to keep reinforcements away. Molotov cocktails, can bombs and grenades were used to keep people indoors while public address systems ordered the CISF men to surrender.
The Maoists were apparently after the cache of assault rifles delivered to the camp a few weeks ago. But the consignment had been removed and the Naxalites failed to lay their hands on them.
Rebels at large, police could only recover a rifle, a mobile phone and cartridges today left behind by the Naxalites.
A landmine was used to blow up the Pilpilo bridge around 8 pm last evening. The deafening sound was the signal for the attack to commence.
A tree was felled to block the road at Kanjkiro, landmines were laid on the Gandhinagar highway. Rebels poured diesel and grease along the road.
The Maoists were led by six zonal commanders, including three young women.
The four-hour gun battle eventually left six persons, including four civilians, dead. After resisting the attack for four hours, the outnumbered CISF personnel abandoned the camp.
The rebels walked in and left after collecting four self-loading rifles and ammunition. Three women, recalls one of the four CISF jawans who reiterated, entered the camp after they ran out of ammunition.
The two CISF personnel killed in the incident have been identified as Captain Boi and Hoshiar Singh. Vijay Singh, Bharat Singh, Mukhdev Singh and Bhagwan Singh are the civilians who lost their lives.
The civilians were shot dead when the truck and the dumpers they were travelling did not stop obeying the rebelsí command.
All the three vehicles skidded on grease and came to a halt before the cowering civilians were dragged out and shot at.
The additional home secretary of the Union government, Vinay Kumar, visiting the spot promised all the needed support to Jharkhand to fight the rebels. State home secretary Sudhir Tripathy and IG (operations) of Jharkhand D. Pandey accompanied Kumar to the spot.
Kumar said security forces should be armed with sophisticated weapons to curb the growth of the Maoists in the state. He also stressed better transportation and intelligence networking.
Speaking about the incident of Nawadih, in which 15 Special Task Force personnel were blown into pieces, Kumar said the accident took place due to the irresponsible act of the police officers.
Director-general of CISF and CRPF S.I.S Ahmad, inspector-general of CISF Ajeet Singh Shekhawat, AIG of CISF J.S. Negi also inspected the spot.
Ahmad assured none of the CISF camps would be shifted from the state and promised more arms and better training to the para-military forces to counter such attacks in future.