JAGDALPUR: A police jawan was injured when an improvised explosive device (IED) laid by Naxals exploded in Chhattisgarh's Dantewada district.
A team of security personnel led by Dantewada's Superintendent of Police Kamlochan Kashyap was patrolling in Katekalyan area last night when the IED exploded, a senior police official told PTI.
As the policemen was cordoning off the road between Metapal and Gatam villages, they found a Naxal banner in support of the 'martyrdom week', he said.
Constable Laxmaih was trying to remove the banner when the pressure IED planted behind it exploded, leaving him injured, the official said.
The injured jawan, belonging to the district force and deputed as follow guard of the Dantewada SP, sustained minor splinter injuries on his hand, he said.
He was immediately rushed to a local hospital where his condition was said to be stable, he said.
Maoists are oberving a 'martyrdom week' from today to August 3.
Security has been beefed up in forests of all the seven districts of Bastar division - Dantewada, Bijapur, Bastar, Narayanpur, Kondagaon, Sukma and Kanker in view of Maoist week, the official said.
Notably, AICC vice president Rahul Gandhi is also scheduled to undertake a two-day visit of Bastar from today during which he will attend a series of programmes.
Hence, the patrolling has been intensified in the district and its bordering areas, the official said.
The outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoist) observes the martyrdom week every year to remember its leaders who died in various operations conducted by the security forces.
The IEDs planted randomly in forests and places, where frequent de-mining operations are not feasible, pose a big challenge in the counter-insurgency operations in Bastar division, a senior police official earlier said.
At least 1,232 IEDs have been recovered by security forces in different pockets of Bastar from 2010 to June 30 this year, as per the figures of the state police department.