Sunday, October 09, 2005

Maoist NXALITES booby-trapped security personnel

Monday October 10 2005 00:00 IST


RANCHI: The dozen security personnel who died here on Saturday in a bomb explosion were victims of a booby-trap set up by Maoist guerrillas who lured them into the jungle with a false tip-off that a large cache of arms and money was lying there.

The security forces were informed Saturday that guerrillas of the Communist Party of India-Maoists (CPI-Maoist) had left a huge cache of arms and money deep in the jungles of Chatra district.

A team of 25 security personnel belonging to the state police and central paramilitary forces were dispatched to Banwadih village, 170 km from Ranchi. The team was led by two senior officers.

The team found a container with Rs.9.24 million written on it when they reached the spot after travelling on foot for seven kilometres.

As they tried to open the box, it exploded and killed 12 security personnel. Amongst those killed, nine were from the central paramilitary forces and three were from the state police.

The two officers - Deputy Superintendent of Police, Binay Bharti and Assistant Commandant of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), J.D. Amar, were also killed. Twelve sustained injuries in the explosion.

Sources have revealed that the security team had a bomb squad, but they started opening the box without necessary precaution.

"The security team did make a mistake. They should not have tried to open the box. The causalities could have been lower if the security personnel had watched the opening of the container by surrounding it," a senior police official told IANS.

The enthusiastic security personnel even did not follow the guidelines about the opening of any suspect object in Maoist-infested areas, he said.

The injured security personnel were brought to Ranchi by special choppers on Saturday evening. They were undergoing treatment at the Apollo Hospital here.

The latest tactic of the Maoists have been viewed as a new method to target the security forces, as they have gradually learnt to avoid landmines after losing more than 170 men in landmine blasts over the years.

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