Friday, November 13, 2009

Maoists ambush CRPF convoy; 3 dead

Express News Service

First Published : 14 Nov 2009 03:51:00 AM ISTLast Updated : 14 Nov 2009 07:51:05 AM IST

BHUBANESWAR/MALKANGIRIL: Two days after they killed four villagers in Rayagada, Maoists on Friday targeted a convoy of security forces in Malkangiri where they blasted a powerful landmine killing three personnel.

A big unit of Central Reserve Police Force’s 8th Battalion was heading for its base when the blast rocked the convoy of 21 vehicles. A truck carrying the three, including a Deputy Commandant, was hit by the explosion. The rest of the unit was not affected.

The deceased are Deputy Commandant Bhupinder Singh, constable Sunil Kumar and driver Narendra Singh.

Unofficial sources said four more CRPF personnel were injured in the blast, but police said none was hurt. The incident occurred near MPV 23, about 7 km from Kalimela.

The CRPF, which is deployed in the Naxal-affected Malkangiri, has battalion headquarters at MV-79 and the company is headquartered at Koraput. Since CRPF is shifting the base, the battalion was heading out too, said IG (Operations) Sanjib Marik.

The Red radicals are believed to have triggered the landmine using a remote control device along Motu-Kalimela-Malkangiri main road when the truck moved past the stretch. The intensity of the blast was so severe that the vehicle was blown up to a height of 25 feet and was mangled, an eyewitness said.What was baffling, however, was that the region has witnessed such attacks on security parties in the past. Given the guerilla warfare strategy of targeting convoys which takes maximum hit, the movement by CRPF appeared fraught with risk. A mine protected vehicle (MPV) was blown up by the Maoists in July last year killing 17 SoG men in the district.

“Such movement precedes road opening parties clearing most vantage points. The security forces claimed they stuck to the standard procedure which also raises questions about its efficacy,’’ a senior police officer said.

This is the third Maoist violence in the district in the last one month. A few days back, the rebels had set ablaze Essar Steel guesthouse at Chitrakonda and blown up a culvert near Telrai under Kalimela police limits. Kalimela, Motu and MV-79 have turned into a battlefield where both the police and Maoists have continuously engaged each other as tribals are badly caught in the crossfire.

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