Security forces have seized improvised explosive devices weighing over 300 kgs from various Naxal-affected states since last week as they conducted an operation for recovery of the deadly agent which had been responsible for 60 per cent of the deaths of troops in these areas.
The Maoists have targeted police and paramilitary convoys and patrol parties with hidden IEDs wreaking havoc on their operations after which forces like CRPF and others have put special emphasis on the recovery of these explosives.
"Almost 326 kgs of IEDs have been recovered by our anti-sabotage teams in the last nine days from May 31. The forces in Naxal-affected areas are undertaking special combing exercises and booby trap checks," a senior CRPF officer said.
A special squad of the CRPF today recovered a 10-kilogram IED from near Tunggi Nallah area of Bijapur district in Chhattisgarh, the officer said.
Out of the total operational casualty of security personnel, 60 per cent can be attributed to IED blasts, he said.
Security forces have been facing a severe challenge as whether they were travelling on vehicles or on foot, they have been trapped and ambushed by cleverly-hidden IEDs, sometimes even under metalled roads.
"We have instructed all the security forces like CRPF, BSF, ITBP and state police squads to absolutely shun their vehicles during operations. But sometimes they have been found violating the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) resulting in huge casualties," the officer said.
A special crack operation is being undertaken to detect and defuse IEDs, he added.
On May 17, 15 civilians and 16 Special Police Officers were killed when Naxals blew up a civilian bus in Dantewada district of the state aided by an IED explosion.
An IED is a deadly explosive put together by combining chemicals, detonators and sharpnels to inflict maximum casualty.
The IEDs, once detected and defused, are handed over to the local police.
Almost 59,000 personnel (59 battalions) of central security forces are undertaking anti-Naxal operations in various states of the country like Orrisa, Jharkhand, West Bengal and others.
On June 5, CRPF personnel recovered five IEDs, four of them weighing 60-kg each, hidden by Naxals in a forest area near Ranchi.