The death toll in the landmine blast in Odisha’s Koraput district mounted to eight after the body of a state police personnel was found at the spot on Thursday morning.
The search team recovered the body of Tulasiram Majhi, who had gone missing after the blast on Wednesday.
“It is a sad incident. At least eight personnel of Odisha Police have died in the yesterday’s landmine explosion. Five others are undergoing treatment in Visakhapatnam and their condition is stable,” said Director General of Police K B Singh.
He said though preliminary investigation indicated involvement of Maoists in the blast, none of the rebel outfits have so far claimed responsibility.
Meanwhile, full state honours were given to the martyrs at Koraput parade ground in the presence of DIG, South Western Range, S Shyni and top police officials.
Shyni expressing deep concern over the incident said, “We will certainly not sit idle. The police will intensify the anti-Maoist operation.”
“Our people were going for training. They were unarmed. Still, the Maoists triggered the landmine and killed them. Where are the human rights groups who make noise over alleged police excesses?” he asked and called upon them to come forward and condemn Maoists for killing the eight “unarmed” police personnel.
Stating that standard operation procedure (SOP) was followed during force movement in the Maoist-hit areas, Shyni said police personnel used to move through Sunki Ghat in police vehicles.
“The director of Intelligence and IG (Operation) has rushed to the accident site. They will probe into the incident and see whether SOP was followed,” Home department special secretary Lalit Das said.
The explosion took place near Mungarbhumi on Sunki ghat, barely one km from Andhra Pradesh border, in the Maoist- affected Koraput district. Altogether 13 personnel, mostly police drivers, were on their war to Cuttack in a truck for training when the landmine went off.