CRPF hunts for mole who may have leaked info on troops to Naxals

7 men died in IED blast in Dantewada while travelling from one camp to another; CRPF suspects mole knew about movement.

Raipur: The CRPF believes that information regarding the movement of its troops, killed in a deadly landmine blast in Dantewada on Wednesday, was ‘leaked’ and it has begun a probe to find out the mole who could be from ‘within or outside’ the paramilitary.

"It is certain that information about their movement was leaked. This happened somewhere or at some stage. The boys were on a surprise non-operational movement and hence were in mufti (plain clothes). We are looking into it," CRPF Director General K Durga Prasad said.

Seven CRPF men were killed on Wednesday in a deadly landmine blast carried out by Naxals that also left a massive four-feet deep crater on the road in the worst violence-affected Dantewada district.

The DG reached Chhattisgarh late last night and would travel to the blast site near Melawada village where Naxals blew off a Tata-709 mini-truck being used by the CRPF men to go from one camp to another.

A senior CRPF official said apart from a Court of Inquiry instituted into the incident, the force is also probing the role of a ‘suspected mole who can be either from within the force or from outside’.

Read: 7 CRPF personnel killed in landmine blast by Naxals in Chhattisgarh

DG Prasad, who rushed to the state from a tour of Maharashtra, said they are working on the leak theory due to a number of facts that have come to light.

"The men were travelling in a normal, non-force vehicle and were not going for any operation. There has been no attack on that road and hence no advance 'road opening' party was deployed there. But information got leaked about this movement. We are looking into all aspects," he said.

The DG said the blast was ‘big’ and it is suspected that about 50-60 kgs of explosive could have been planted beneath the 'pucca' metalled road to trigger it.

Officials in the intelligence wing of the force indicated that about two to three Naxals were present in the vicinity of the blast spot and are suspected to have ‘joined the wires’ to ignite the hidden improvised explosive device as soon as the vehicle went over it.

The force has called in a team of its bomb and IED experts from Pune to go into the details, the official said.

The attack occurred near the Basaras-Kuakonda axis in Melawada village when a Tata-709 mini-truck of the force went over a landmine around 3:30 pm.

The troops, most of whom had just returned from leave, were going to camp nearby.

A Court of Inquiry has been ordered by the force to find out under what circumstances the troops were travelling in a four-wheeler, banned for force personnel in these areas due to the threat of hidden IEDs, and why they were not carrying arms as is mandatory while even moving for non-operational tasks.

They said the troops belonged to the 230th battalion of the force deployed in south Bastar area for anti-Naxal operations.

( Source : PTI )
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