Five security personnel were killed and several others critically injured in an improvised explosive device (IED) blast triggered by Naxals in a passengers bus in Chhattisgarh’s Narayanpur district. A total of 27 jawans of District Reserve Guards (DRG) were on board in the passenger bus, said police.
The incident took place at around 4.30 pm on Tuesday between Kadenar and Kanhargaonr, deep in forest area.
Ashok Juneja, DG, Anti-Naxal Operations Chhattisgarh said the DRG jawans were on way back to their headquarters in Narayanpur after taking part in a joint operation deep inside a forest area when their bus was blown up by three IEDs planted by the Naxals.
“Anti-Naxal operations were underway. One DRG party was returning after the operation to Narayanpur headquarters when around 4.15 pm, three IED blasts took place at a bridge in their route. Frontal portion of the bus took the impact and the driver and two jawans died on the spot, while two others died later at hospital,” he said while briefing the media about the incident.
Those who lost their lives in the unfortunate incident were – Jailal Uike of village Kasawahi, constable-driver Karan Dehari from Antagarh, Sevak Salam from Kanker, Pawan Mandavi from Bahigaon and Vijay Patel from Narauanpur.
Three other critically injured jawans were immediately airlifted to Raipur, said the officer, adding that nine jawans with minor injuries were being treated at Narayanpur district hospital.
He further said that one of the teams had already returned to Narayanpur, while two other teams were still there in Kanhargaon camp. A total of 150 jawans of ITBP, CF, DRG, CRPF and others took part in a two-day joint operation based upon an intelligence input on possible Naxals gathering.
On further being asked about standard operational procedure on movement of Armed Forces, he said that ITBP road opening party had left before the bus so as a demining party. “We will probe the fact how the attack still happened. It is yet to be known as to when and how these IEDs were planted,” he added.
Juneja, however, clarified that the incident has nothing to do with the Chhattisgarh government’s proposal to Maoists for a dialogue for ending violence in the region.
Director General of Police (DGP) DM Awasthi, DG Anti-Naxal operations Ashok Juneja and other senior officers will reach the blast site for further probe.
Meanwhile, Narayanpur SP Mohit Garg told the media that an additional forces were sent to the spot for probe.
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel has condoled the demise of the DRG jawans who lost their lives in the IED blast incident and directed officials to ensure proper medical treatment of the injured.
On March 5, an ITBP jawan named Mangesh Ramteke was killed in an IED blast by Naxals in the same district. The IED was planted around 100m away from the road, the police had said.