Monday, November 23, 2009

Three cops killed in Gumla landmine blasts

Manohar Lal & KA Gupta, TNN 23 November 2009, 06:53am IS

RANCHI: Two Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel and a police driver were killed and six others injured in a twin landmine blast near

Lapung village under Bishunpur police station of Jharkhand's Gumla district on Sunday.

The incident comes only three days after Maoists triggered a blast on railway tracks leading to the derailment of the 321 Up Tata-Bilaspur passenger train at Ghagra near Manoharpur in West Singhbhum district in which two persons were killed and at least 25 others injured on Thursday night.

Sources said the landmines, connected in series, exploded simultaneously completely damaging the anti-landmine vehicle in which the security personnel were travelling.

While head constable Pramod Kumar Singh and constable Arvind Sarkar of the CRPF's D-41 battalion died on the spot, district police driver Prakash Minz, who was driving the anti-landmine vehicle, succumbed to his injuries at Gumla Referral Hospital. While head constable Singh hailed from Uttar Pradesh, constable Sarkar was from West Bengal.

CRPF DIG Alok Raj said Sunday's blasts occurred when the CRPF personnel were on their way from Gumla town to Jorri village under Bishunpur police station following the blowing up of a primary health centre (PHC) at the village by Maoists late Saturday night.

"It appears that the Maoists lay in wait to ambush the security personnel after damaging the PHC," Raj said.

Reinforcements were rushed from Gumla town, located over 70 kms away from the blast site, and adjoining Lohardaga district to rescue the injured jawans.

A total of 14 security personnel, including the police driver, were travelling in the vehicle when Maoist triggered the blasts.

The intensity of the blasts were such threw the CRPF vehicle 10-feet in the air and created a huge crater at the spot.

"Though security personnel were wearing protection gear, the impact of the explosions led to the death of three securitymen," Jharkhand Police spokesperson and IG (human rights) V H Deshmukh said.

"The Maoists are trying to disrupt the poll process and even announced to boycott the polls. We have information that Maoists could disrupt the poll process and hence intensive anti-Maoist operations are being launched," he added.

The seriously injured CRPF personnel have been identified as Dayaman Mandal (West Bengal), Suman Sharma (Uttrakhand), Yogesh Minz (West Bengal), J Franklin Minz (Kerala), Suraj Chandra Mandal (West Bengal) and ASI Chander Deo Mandal. Three of the seriously injured CRPF personnel have been airlifted to Apollo Hospital in Ranchi.

A few others escaped with minor injuries, sources said. The D-41 battalion was earlier stationed in Bhopal had been deployed in Gumla district on November 16 for conduct of peaceful elections scheduled on December 2.

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