BHOPAL: Alert Madhya Pradesh police personnel on Monday evening foiled a bid by naxal extremists to target security personnel with an improvised explosive device (IED) in the jungles of naxal-affected Balaghat district near the Madhya Pradesh-Chhattisgarh border.
Acting on specific intelligence, a team of Balaghat police undertaking anti-naxal operations tracked an explosive dump in the Sitapala jungle, close to the border with naxal-hit Chhattisgarh.
“The explosive dump contained stocks of splinters, sharp nails, urea, sulphur, ammonium nitrate, two bundles of electric wires and two detonators, which seemed to have been stashed in these jungles to target our patrolling party’s foot soldiers through an IED attack,” said Balaghat SP Amit Sanghi on Tuesday.
Surprisingly, the dump possibly aimed at triggering an IED blast was found in the same Sitapala jungles where Balaghat police constable Harishchandra was shot dead, and a fellow police constable injured in a 2012 naxal ambush.
Around six weeks ago, a team of the central reserve police force (CRPF) had also found a similar explosive dump in the Sonewani jungles, also in Balaghat district, where groups of the CPI (Maoists), including Malajkhand, Tanda and Darre Khasa Dalams are active.
The latest dump discovery in the Sitapala jungles comes ten days after two people, including an ex-village sarpanch, were arrested for raising funds for naxals. Over Rs 3 lakh cash was recovered from the duo, before it could reach the naxals. Later on May 25, police arrested Abbas, a private contractor supervising tendu leaf plucking operations in the Balaghat forests.
Abbas had been paying naxals and their sympathisers through the arrested duo for several years. Cops are now probing the possibility of contractors engaged in road construction in Balaghat and adjoining areas of Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh, who could also be routing funds to naxal extremists in a similar way.