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The team was returning in a vehicle to their headquarters

Ten police personnel, driver killed in blast by Maoists in Chhattisgarh

The slain security personnel were from the District Reserve Guard (DRG), a state force designed to carry out anti-naxal operations

Our Web Desk Published 26.04.23, 03:13 PM
Security personnel at the site after at least ten police personnel and a driver were killed in a blast carried out by Naxalites in Chhattisgarh's Dantewada district

Security personnel at the site after at least ten police personnel and a driver were killed in a blast carried out by Naxalites in Chhattisgarh's Dantewada district PTI picture

  • 10 cops killed in blast by Maoists in Chhattisgarh were travelling in a rented vehicle, 50 kg explosives were used, reports NDTV

Ten police personnel and a driver were killed after Naxals blew up the vehicle in which they were traveling in Chhattisgarh's Dantewada district on Wednesday, police said.

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This was the biggest strike by the Maoists on the security forces in the state in the last two years.

The blast, carried out using an Improvised Explosive Device (IED), took place under Aranpur police station area around 1 pm when a team of the state police's District Reserve Guard (DRG) was out on an anti-Naxal operation, Inspector General of Police (Bastar Range) Sundarraj P said.

DRG personnel are mostly recruited from the local tribal population and trained to combat Maoists.

The area where the blast took place is around 450 km from state capital Raipur.

TV visuals from a local news channel showed a huge crater, almost 10-feet deep, splitting the road at the site. The vehicle was completely destroyed in the attack while bodies covered with plastic sheets were also seen in the video.

The security personnel had set out from Dantewada district headquarters after getting information about the presence of Maoists belonging to the Darbha division in the area, the IGP said.

When they were returning in a mini-goods van, Naxals blew it up between Aranpur and Sameli villages, he said.

Ten DRG jawans and the civilian driver of the vehicle were killed on the spot, the official added.

Reinforcement was rushed to the spot and the bodies of the deceased were being evacuated, he said.

Security personnel have launched a search operation in the area, he said.

Expressing grief over the incident, Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel said the fight against Naxalism was in its last phase, and the Naxals will not be spared under any circumstances.

“We will work in a coordinated way and eliminate Naxalism,” he added.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah spoke to Baghel following the incident.

“Anguished by the cowardly attack on the Chhattisgarh police at Dantewada. Have spoken to Chhattisgarh's Chief Minister and assured all possible assistance to the state government. My condolences to the bereaved family members of the martyred Jawans,” Shah tweeted.

In the past, numerous attacks have taken place on the security forces in the Bastar region of Chhattisgarh, comprising seven districts including Dantewada, between March and June.

During these summer months the Maoists carry out their `Tactical Counter Offensive Campaign'.

In the last major incident, 22 security personnel were killed on April 3, 2021, in an ambush along the border of Sukma and Bijapur districts.

Seventeen security personnel were killed in a Naxal ambush in the Minpa area of Sukma district on March 21, 2020.

On April 9, 2019, BJP MLA Bhima Mandavi and four security personnel were killed in a blast in Dantewada district.

The Burkapal attack of April 24, 2017, in Sukma district claimed the lives of 25 CRPF personnel.

The Tadmetla massacre, the deadliest Naxal attack in which 76 security personnel died, had taken place in April 6, 2010.

The Maoists, also known as Naxals, have waged an armed insurgency against the government that has killed hundreds of people over six decades. They say they are fighting on behalf of the poorest, who have been left out of the country's economic boom.

Since 1967 the group seen as the greatest threat to the country's internal security have asserted control over vast swathes of land in central and eastern India, establishing a so-called "red corridor". They operate from thick forests, and their operations against the Indian administration and forces are shrouded in secrecy.

Following is the timeline of major Naxal attacks in Chhattisgarh.

April 2021: Twenty two security personnel killed in gunfight with Naxals in Terram jungles along the borders of Bijapur and Sukma districts.

March 2018: Nine Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel killed in IED blast triggered by Maoists in Sukma district.

February 18, 2018: Two Chhattisgarh police personnel killed in a gun-battle with Naxals at Bhejji in Sukma.

April 24, 2017: 24 CRPF personnel killed in an encounter with Maoists in Sukma.

March 12, 2017: 12 CRPF jawans killed in a Maoist attack in Sukma.

March 11, 2014: 15 security personnel killed in a Maoist attack in Sukma district.

February 28, 2014: Six police officials killed in Maoists’ attack in Dantewada district.

May 25, 2013: 25 leaders from the Congress party, including former state minister Mahendra Karma, killed in Maoist attack in Darbha valley.

June 29, 2010: 26 CRPF jawans killed in Maoist ambush in Narayanpur district.

May 8, 2010: Eight CRPF personnel killed after Naxals carry out an explosion of a bullet-proof vehicle in Bijapur district.

April 6, 2010: Maoists kill 75 CRPF personnel in ambush in Dantewada district.

September 4, 2009: Maoists kill four villagers in Bijapur district.

July 27, 2009: Six persons killed after Naxals trigger landmine in Dantewada district.

July 18, 2009: Villager killed by Naxals in Bastar district.

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