Dantewada/Nagpur: Four security personnel were killed and seven injured on Monday after armed Maoists blew up a military vehicle in Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada district, in the fourth rebel attack in three days in the strife-torn Bastar zone.
Armed guerrillas triggered a powerful improvised explosive device (IED) carrying over 50 kg of explosives that tossed an anti-landmine vehicle carrying eleven jawans of the Chhattisgarh Armed Force in the air, police said.
The Maoists fled into a jungle after blowing up the ill-fated vehicle that was engaged in a search and road-opening operation in the region, officials added. Dantewada superintendent of police Kamal Lochan Kashyap, who confirmed the incident to HT, has rushed to the spot.
Hours earlier, a Border Security Force (BSF) jawan was killed in an exchange of fire with rebels in the state’s insurgency-hit Kanker district.
This is the latest in a string of attacks in the state that have been tactically undertaken by the Red brigade. In the last three days, rebels have targeted security forces in Kanker and Dantewada districts that are separated by about 200 km.
On Saturday , seven STF personnel were killed and ten others injured when Maoists ambushed them in the forests of Pidmel village in Sukma district. The next day, Maoists torched 18 vehicles engaged in mining work in Kanker district, 140 km from Raipur. However, no one was hurt in the strike.
The Opposition blamed the government for the recent spate of attacks and said the Raman Singh regime hadn’t learnt from previous mistakes. “The resources provided to the state government and huge forces allotted to the state are not being effectively utilised. The anti-Maoist approach should be reviewed”, former chief minister Ajit Jogi said.
The Maoists are believed to be present in at least 20 states, but are the most active in Chhattisgarh, and have waged war on the government and security forces for more than four decades and say they are fighting for the rights of the tribal people and rural poor who live in remote regions in central and eastern India.
The guerrillas often collect funds through extortion and protection rackets and claim to have certain districts under their control as ‘liberated zones’, mostly under the umbrella of the Communist Party of India (Maoist), the largest left-wing extremist organisation in the country.