RAIPUR: Maoists triggered a powerful improvised explosive device (IED) in south Chhattisgarh targeting an oil tanker, killing three civilians including the driver of the ill-fated vehicle at Tumapal in the district of Kanker, about 200 km south of Raipur on Tuesday.
According to Kanker superintendent of police K L Dhruv, the diesel tanker was on its way to supply oil to vehicles engaged in construction work for the Rowghat railway line project. It was hit by an IED blast detonated by the rebels killing the three on the spot, the SP said.
The deceased were identified as Rakesh Kodopi (24), driver Duneshwar Singh (24) and Ajay Kumar Salam (23).
The vehicle which was carrying highly inflammable diesel was tossed up a few feet in the air and fell on the ground lying tilted on its side. A crater-like structure was created on a gravelled road owing to the explosion.
Following the incident, a team of Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), one of the Central Armed Forces deployed in Chhattisgarh, was rushed from the Tumapal base camp to the spot. On the way, they too were targeted resulting in an encounter with the Maoists, the officer added. There is no report of any jawan injured in the attack.
The Maoists are known to pick out soft targets by triggering IED explosions in the strife torn areas of Chhattisgarh.
“Soft targets cannot retaliate. For Maoists, such targets are convenient means to register their presence,” said Brigadier (retired) B K Ponwar, a jungle warfare expert.
Kanker is among the seven worst Maoist-affected districts in the conflict zone of Bastar.