The police’s failure to follow security protocol in the Maoist hinterland may have led to the worst attack by rebels in Jharkhand in the last one year, resulting in the death of seven jawans.
Standard operation practices mandate that four-wheelers must not be used for movement in the Maoist-infested area, but the 13-personnel police party in Jharkhand on Wednesday had gone into the jungles of Palamu in a mini truck.
“As the head of the state’s police force, I take responsibility for the lapses made by our men. But I declare that we will not let their sacrifice go waste as the Maoists will be wiped out from Jharkhand in 2016,” director general of police DK Pandey said.
An improvised explosive device planted under a small culvert between Kasiyar and Goutha villages on a highly dilapidated Mahuadand-Hussainabad road and triggered from a distance of barely 50 metres claimed the lives of seven jawans, the police said. Wires used in the blast were recovered on Thursday from the blast site.
The intensity of the explosion was such that the mini truck used by the party of 13 police personnel including 11 armed guards, one chowkidar and a police driver was blown to smithereens and mangled parts of the vehicle could be seen littered up to 100 metres away. The blast crater was over a metre wide and deep.
The blast site is 22km from the Hussainabad police station.