Bhopal: Seven policemen were killed when Maoists on Sunday blew up a vehicle, carrying security personnel, by triggering a powerful improvised explosive device blasts, near Cholnar in Chhattisgarh’s south Bastar district of Dantewada.
The attack took place on the day Union home minister Rajanth Singh was scheduled to arrive in the state.
The land mine blast took place at about 11.40 am when a joint team of the Chhattisgarh Armed Force (CAF) and the District Force (DF) was patrolling the Cholnar-Kirandul road to provide security to trucks carrying construction material for road works between Kirandul and Palnar villages, a senior police official said.
The blast created a 10-foot crater on the road and tossed the police vehicle into the air.
“Five jawans died on the spot,” said deputy inspector general (DIG), state intelligence bureau (SIB), P. Sunderraj. The other two jawans died during treatment. The slain security personnel included four jawans of the CAF and three personnel from the DF.
The Maoists took away the slain jawans’ weapons — 2 INSAS rifles, 2 AK 47s and 2 SLRs — after the blast.
CAF personnel killed in the blast were identified as head constable Vikram Yadav and constables Rajesh Kumar Singh, Ravinath Patel and Arjun Rajbhar.
The slain DF jawans were identified as head constable Ramkumar Yadav, constable Tikeshwar Dhruv and assistant constable Shalik Ram Sinha. Police said the IED might have been planted around six months ago and was detonated on Sunday targeting the ill-fated vehicle carrying the jawans.