Ten police personnel, driver killed in blast carried out by Maoists in Chhattisgarh's Dantewada 

The blast tossed the vehicle in the air and left a 5-6 feet deep crater-like structure on the Aranpur-Jagargunda road.

Published: 26th April 2023 03:36 PM  |   Last Updated: 26th April 2023 09:08 PM   |  A+A-

Security personnel at the Dantewada blast site. ( Photo | Special arrangement )

Security personnel at the Dantewada blast site. ( Photo | Special arrangement )

Express News Service

RAIPUR: Ten security personnel and a civilian were killed in an explosion triggered by the outlawed CPI (Maoist) at Aranpur in the strife-torn Dantewada district about 450 km south of Raipur on Wednesday.

The incident took place under Aranpur police station limits when a team of the state police's District Reserve Guard (DRG) was returning after an anti-Naxalite operation, a senior official said.

Maoists blew up the mini-goods van in which the security personnel were travelling by using an Improvised Explosive Device (IED), police sources said.

Going by the magnitude of the explosion it is believed the rebels had placed over 50 kg of explosives beneath the road.

There was also an incident of exchange of fire between the rebels and the DRG, who were in the region, earlier today. The Maoists, allegedly, were aware of the forces' return route after their three-day-long operations.

On Wednesday afternoon, the forces were coming back to Dantewada from Sameli in separate vehicles from Aranpur thana. Five to six vehicles arranged for their return say local sources.

While the vehicles passed through the solitary Aranpur-Jagargunda road, some villagers, on the pretext of seeking donations to a local festival, asked them to halt and contribute. One of the vehicles carrying the personnel passed speedily, while the second was hit by a powerful improvised explosive device (IED), killing 10 jawans and the driver on the spot.

Whether those who stopped the vehicles were actually the villagers or the samgham members (lowest cadres) of the Maoists remains part of further investigation. All the deceased were the cadres of Dantewada DRG.

The blast tossed the vehicle in the air and left a 5-6 feet deep crater-like structure on the Aranpur-Jagargunda road.

The Maoists had planted the IED creating a small tunnel under the one-foot-dense concrete road without any traces of damage. 

TV visuals from a local news channel showed a huge crater splitting the road wide open.

Bodies covered with plastic sheets, and also vehicle parts were seen strewn along.

On a tip-off over the presence of Maoists close to Sameli and Aranpur, a team of around 100 DRG left on anti-Maoist search operations in the region a couple of days ago.

Immediately after the explosion, the forces detained two persons for questioning. 

Senior officials including the Bastar IG, and Dantewada SP rushed to the spot.

Additional reinforcement too was sent and the search operation further has been intensified.

The DGP Ashok Juneja called an emergency meeting at Nava Raipur police headquarters to review the situation following the attack.

Confirming the incident, Chattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel said, "There is such information with us. It is very saddening. My condolences to the bereaved families. This fight is in its last stage. Naxals won't be spared."

"The news of the martyrdom of our 10 DRG jawans and a driver due to IED blast on the DRG force which had arrived for anti-Naxal operation on the information of the presence of Maoist cadre under Aranpur police station area of Dantewada is very sad.

We all the people of the state pay our respects to him. We all share in the grief of their families. May his soul rest in peace", tweeted the CM.

He cancelled his scheduled trip to visit poll-bound Karnataka and instead will proceed to Dantewada on Thursday.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah spoke to Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on the attack.

"Anguished by the cowardly attack on the Chhattisgarh police at Dantewada. Have spoken to Chhattisgarh's Chief Minister and assured all possible assistance to the state government. My condolences to the bereaved family members of the martyred Jawans," Shah tweeted.

(With inputs from PTI)


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