A sub-inspector and a driver were among the 11 policemen killed in a landmine blast triggered by Communist Party of India (Maoist) members near Burudih Dam under Ghatsila PS some 48 km from district headquarters on Saturday.
The improvised explosion was followed by indiscriminate firing by the Naxalites that lasted for a few hours after police reinforcement reached the spot.
“It was an improvised attack. The Maoists had planted landmines on the route through which the police combing team was returning. Police teams were passing through the route when the blasts were set off,” said the superintendent of East Singhbhum police, Naveen Kumar Singh.
Police sources said the ambush took place around 1.30 pm when the police team led by Ravikant Sinha, a 1994 batch officer, was returning from Tikri after the day’s operation.
A sudden blast ripped off a police jeep following another van carrying 22 JAP jawans who escaped unhurt. Those sitting in the jeep were immediately killed. The deceased included three havildars and six constables.
Police had a tough time identifying the bodies owing to the powerful blast. Patrolling jeeps of the police were torn apart.