A day after Senior Security Advisor to Union Ministry of Home Affairs K Vijay Kumar visited Budha Pahar to review the ongoing anti-Naxal operations, CPI (Maoists) triggered a landmine near Latu village in Latehar in which four Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were injured.
Earlier on October 24, the Maoists, according to villagers of Budha Gaon in the Budha Pahar area under Bhandaria police station, had abducted at least 10 persons, including a 17-year girl.
The police personnel who got injured in the land mine blast and were later airlifted to Ranchi for better treatment include Deputy Commandant HL Gangte, Radio Operator Nitish Pandey, Constable Deepak Singh and Gopaljee Yadav.
“Four of our police personnel have been injured after a land mine was triggered while a patrolling party was walking through the Latu jungles during the ongoing anti-Maoist operation in the area,” said Latehar SP Dhananjay Kumar. All of them are said to be out of danger, he added.
The SP further informed that a joint team of State Police and CRPF were out for anti-Maoist operation and as soon as they reached near Latu village at 2:15 pm, Maoists triggered a land mine leaving four jawans injured. He also said that intensive search operation has been launched in the area to trace the culprits out.
ADG (Operations) RK Mallick, confirming the incident, said that the injured persons have received splinter injuries and were admitted to Medica Hospital in Ranchi.
According to Palamu DIG Vipul Shukla, Gangte has received injuries on his left eye, Pandey on both of his thighs, Yadav on his right hand and face while Singh has received splinter injury on his forehead.
Sources in Latehar said that the 112 Battalion of CRPF was on foot patrolling crossing the Barsand area, around 20 km from the district headquarters, and landmine was triggered on them. The Maoists were also said to have fired on the patrolling party before retreating into the jungles of Budha Pahar.
Incidentally, intensive operation is being carried out at Budha Pahar region, located on the borders of Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh, with an aim of dragging Maoists out of the area. Regular search operation is currently being conducted in the area involving over 2000 security personnel.
Considered to be a safest zone for the Maoists, it is believed that top Maoists, including Arvind ji, having a bounty of Rs 1 crore on his head, are hiding in the jungles of Budha Pahar. Budha Pahar has been a challenge for the security forces as the Maoists have spread a chain of landmines right from its base to the top making it difficult for the security forces to get on the top of it.
Meanwhile, villagers of Budha Gaon in the Budha Pahar area under Bhandaria Police Station claimed that the CPI (Maoists) had taken away at least 10 persons with them on October 24. Officials of State and District Police, however, have denied any such incident.
“They had come in a group of around 100 persons and took around 10 of the villagers with them,” said a villager Sugia Devi. The villagers who have been abducted were identified as Butan Korwa, Sampatiya (17-year girl), Rihul Birijiya, Ajhnu, Ajhnu Birijiya, Giriwar Kisan, Chandan Yadav (supplier), Harha Kisan and two others.
Source – The Pioneer