Maoists once again displayed their propensity towards brutal violence when they cut open the body of a slain trooper on Tuesday and implanted an improvised explosive device (IED) to booby-trap the security personnel carrying out rescue operations.
The body, stitched with surgical precision, was retrieved on Wednesday from the Ambatikar forests, the theatre of the gun-battle between the security persons and rebels, and subsequently flown to Ranchi's Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) for autopsy.
What could have been a major disaster was averted after the doctors carrying out the postmortem found something wrong with the kind of stitches on the body. They immediately contacted senior officials of the state police and CRPF.
Experts from bomb disposal squads of both the CRPF and Jharkhand police carried out examinations of the body on Wednesday and Thursday and eventually discovered the IED, planted beneath the ribs of the slain CRPF jawan, Babulal Patel.
"The scanner detected the explosive," said a bomb disposal expert, adding that the IED was fitted with a solar panel and also connected with the stitches.
"It could have exploded either by the pull of the stitches or coming in contact with light," said a senior CRPF official not authorised to speak to the media.
An inspector general of the Jharkhand police said: "Maoists have been using booby traps in boxes, trees and clothes, but booby-trapping a body was never heard of so far."
Married only a year ago, Patel was from Allahabad.
OP launched to rein in maoists: Shinde
New delhi: Security forces have launched large-scale operations in the Maoist strongholds of Jharkhand's Latehar district, Union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said on Thursday but conceded it wasn't going to be easy to clear out the well-entrenched Maoists.
"The operations will continue till the Maoists are cleared from this area... This is expected to be a tough battle since the Maoists are entrenched in this area for decades and are familiar with the terrain," Shinde said.
The home minister said Maoists were employing new tactics but was confident that they may be only able to use its strategy to insert explosives in the body of slain jawans once.