Home Minister P Chidambaram on Tuesday hoped that the new government in Jharkhand would face up to the Maoist threat following the landmine explosion triggered by the rebels last week where seven police personnel and a civilian were killed.
Condemning the incident, the home minister said chief minister Shibu Soren would need to send clear instructions to the state police and the administration to brace up to the challenge.
"In a loud and clear signal to the new government in Jharkhand, the CPI-Maoist have committed their first major act of depredation (this year) by triggering a landmine blast in which seven personnel of security forces and one civilian were killed. The Maoists also looted nine weapons belonging to the security forces," Chidambaram said in a statement.
"There was no provocation for this act of mindless violence. A team belonging to the Bishnupur police picket was returning from a routine patrol in the mining area. The team was not engaged in any search operation; nor did the team open fire on any one. Yet, the team became the target of attack and eight precious lives were lost."
Chidambaram said the area where the attack happened was well known for illegal mining of bauxite.
"The Naxalites (Maoists) collect levies from the illegal miners. The Naxals resorted to this attack only to scare the police away from the area in which they operate and collect illegal levies."