Landmine blast kills 4 CRPF troopers

Violence unabated: Days after Dantewada massacre, Maoists strike in West Bengal

Landmine blast kills 4 CRPF troopers



Hours before that, they detonated a powerful landmine between Gidhni and Khathura stations in the district, damaging a goods train running between Tatanagar and Howrah. 

The attack on the CRPF team took place somewhere between Pingboni and Lalgarh when jawans led by Deputy Commandant V P Singh were on a routine patrol aboard a Bolero near the Naxal-infested Bhalukbasa forest, Superintendent of Police M K Verma said. “The explosion was so powerful that it left a five-feet-deep crater on the road,” Verma said.

Four jawans died on the spot, while two, including the deputy commandant, were severely injured. The injured have been rushed to the Midnapore district hospital by the CRPF reinforcement that reached the spot after the blast, and their condition is said to be very critical.

Blast impact
The impact of the goods train blast was also severe, the railway officials said. A two-feet-deep crater was formed at the blast site, several rail sleepers were blown up and the overhead power cable of both tracks were cut off. The driver and his assistant were injured.

Railway officials, along with the police and the paramilitary forces, have reached the spot and repair work has begun. Several long-distance trains including Howrah-Puroshattampur Express have been diverted, and others such as Howrah-Tata Nagar Steel Express, Howrah-Hatia Express, Sambaleshwari Express are stranded at various stations.

According to a report, Maoists also fired at a combined team of police and the CRPF who had launched a combing operation in the jungles around Lalgarh, popularly called Jangalmahal.
Wednesday is the second day of a 48-hour shutdown enforced by the Maoists in the five states of Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa, West Bengal and Bihar. The attack was also a grim pointer to the fact that the Left-wing rebels continued to spurn all offers for talks by the Centre.

Intelligence inputs
According to sources, there were intelligence inputs prior to the attack, cautioning the security forces against powerful IED blasts by the Naxals in and around Lalgarh. Inputs revealed a team of 40 Maoists  had infiltrated the areas led by a man named Ganeshan and two women, who had reportedly been given the task to carry out powerful strikes on CRPF jawans.

“The attacks are aimed at striking at the morale of the CRPF personnel and creating a division in their ranks, much in the manner a series of deadly attacks debilitated the Eastern Frontier Rifles (EFR) jawans, who now refuse to be deployed in the fight against the Naxals,” said a source in the police. However, according to CRPF sources, the jawans are extremely agitated after the brutal killing of their colleagues and have vowed to take on the rebels.
DH News Service

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