Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Blast by Naxals: C'garh cops to also probe how explosive went undetected

·2-min read

Raipur, Mar 24 (PTI) A day after the blast triggered by Naxals killed five security personnel and injured several others in Chhattisgarh's Narayanpur district, police on Wednesday said the probe into the incident would also cover how the explosive went undetected even as the security forces had cordoned off the area before the movement of troops.

Naxals on Tuesday blew up a bus carrying District Reserve Guard (DRG) personnel near Maroda village, three kms away from Kadenar camp of Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) on Barsoor-Palli route, with an IED, in which five police personnel were killed and 13 others injured.

According to police, the Naxals had meticulously planted the landmine and the wire connecting it to the trigger, possibly by wrapping it with some kind of paper that prevented it from being discovered by the IED detection equipment.

'The Road Opening Party (ROP) of ITBP was deployed on the route while the demining exercise (to trace IEDs) was also carried out by the Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS) of both the ITBP and local police. After the complete scanning of the route, the permission was granted for movement of troops,' Inspector General of Police (Bastar range) Sundarraj P told PTI.

'Unfortunately, the IED got undetected,' he said, ruling out tactical lapses.

The investigation (into the incident) would be focused on ascertaining the source of the explosive material and the Naxal cadres involved in the incident, he said.

'Besides, senior officers, BDS specialists, forensic experts and other concerned authorities would look into the modus operandi, how the IED went undetected by the BDS and the nature of explosive substances,' he added.

The spot-investigation revealed that the wire was concealed underground to trigger the blast. The IED was planted at the place where the road meets the culvert, he added.

After carrying out a two-day long operation in the jungles along Narayanpur-Dantewada districts border, the DRG personnel returned to Kademeta camp from where they had to reach Narayanpur district headquarter, around 60 km away from there.

'They left in four mini buses, each carrying around 26 personnel. As soon as the first bus reached the culvert near Maroda village, the ultras triggered the blast that impacted the frontal part of the vehicle, following which it fell off the culvert,' he said.

Prima facie, it appears that the damage was caused more after the bus fell off from culvert into the dry river rather than due to the explosion, he said.

The ROP of the ITBP and jawans, who were on the other vehicle, immediately got into action and also began the evacuation operation, he said.

At present, 10 injured personnel are admitted to a private hospital in Raipur and one in Narayanpur hospital, another police official said, adding that their condition was stated to be out of danger.

Rest of the injured personnel were discharged after treatment, he added. PTI TKP NP NP

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