SIX POLICE personnel, including an Assistant Commandant, were today killed and 12 others were injured when they were trying to defuse a bomb planted by the Naxalites on Geedam-Bijapur road of National Highway under Bhairamgarh police station area of South Bastar. The injured included a policeman, three special police officers (SPOs) and eight civilians.
Three critically injured civilians were airlifted to Raipur, eight were referred to Jagdalpur and one is getting treatment at Bhairamgarh hospital.
Dantewada district Collector K R Pisda said that a Salva Judum activists and Youth Congress leader Ajay Singh Wednesday night informed the Bhairamgarh police that the Naxalite attempted to blow up his four-wheeler on Bijapur-Bhairamgarh road.
A little later, two bombs were triggered by the Naxalites near village Bodli on same road. Acting on the information, the police force comprising District Force and CRPF led by ASI Chandra Kumar Markam went to the spot. Some civilians, Salva Judum leaders and activists also joined this police party.
After defusing a bomb at one place, the police party traced a ‘tiffin bomb’ containing 12 to 15 kilos of explosives. The policemen and civilians were watching the efforts to defuse the bomb when it went off, killing six and injuring 12.
The police personnel killed were identified as Assistant Commandant NAP Sarbato, constable Naik Vetta, constable Akum Chang, ASI Bhairamgarh police station Chandra Kumar Markam, SPO Manku Karti and driver Dinesh Dahariya.
The three critically injured civilians airlifted to Raipur are Vikram Mandavi, Bhairamgarh Janpad Panchayat president Chandra Mohan Patle and Bhairamgarh block Youth Congress president Love Kumar (Bablu), who is also a Congress activist.
The nine injured are Tirath Ram of Central Force, SPOs Somaru Ram, Sukhram Mandavi and Laxman Hapka, village Pinkonda secretary Lacchhu Ram, village Keshkutul Sarpanch Ram Sai, former Janpad president (Bhairamgarh) Sakini Chandraiyya, villager Mohammed Iqbal Khan and village Mangalnar sarpanch Govind.
These civilians were prominent Salva Judum activists and regularly used to join the police party while in patrol or search operations.
In another Naxalite event February 7, one Naxalite, Beko Kosa (25), brother of deceased Naxalite area commander Beko Handa was killed in an encounter with police near village Ittawada under Jangla police station area in south Bastar.