A 10-member team of Jharkhand Police had a narrow escape on Monday as a landmine, allegedly planted by Maoists, exploded moments after it crossed the site of the blast in a village around 100 km from Ranchi.
The police team was on a routine patrol when the landmine went off in Charwadi village in Latehar district, superintendent of police (SP) Michael S Raj said. Sources said the landmine had been placed in a culvert. The police, however, could not independently verify the claim.
Raj said all the policemen, who were being led by deputy SP Anup Barai, were safe. The purpose of the attack was to loot weapons after killing the policemen, he added.
Maoists had on December 3 massacred seven police officials in a landmine explosion in Bihar even as the state cabinet approved a new surrender-cum-rehabilitation policy for left-wing extremists. In another daring attack, the ultras had ambushed a police vehicle in Jharkhand’s Dumka on July 2, killing six policemen including Pakur district SP Amarjeet Balihar.
Three policemen were killed in a landmine blast triggered by Maoists at Balumath in Latehar district in February last year. The explosion was followed by a fierce gunfight which had also left four cops injured.