Friday, May 01, 2009

WB: Maoists trigger blasts, kill 3

1 May 2009, 0526 hrs IST, Jayanta Gupta & Sukumar Mahato, TNN


LALGARH/BELPAHARI/BANSPAHARI: Serial blasts ripped through the Jangalmahal area spread over West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia, before and after
the Lok Sabha elections on Thursday, killing two poll officials and their driver.

The first landmine blast of the day, at Biramdihi in Purulia, came as early as 8.30 am.

The last one at Khusibani forest near Jamboni happened around 6.45 pm.

A Mahindra-Max carrying officials from the polling booths in Belpahari was returning to Jhargram Raj College when it was blown up on the main road while passing by Khusibani forest, 22 km from Jhargram. The jeep was way behind the motorcade, escorted by a police van in front. The blast occurred seconds after the police escort and other cars passed over.

The police officers were taken aback at the huge blast behind them and informed their superiors. However, they did not wait for the victims as is the rule in this zone. Later, a convoy with paramilitary forces reached the spot and identified the two poll officials killed as Prasad Ranjan Banerjee and Saugata Karmakar and the driver as Sanjay Das.

The Maoist operation is similar to the one in Binpur block, where a medical van was blown up and for which the rebels apologised later. In both cases, the landmines were planted in such a way that they triggered two other blasts.

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