Six Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawans were killed and eight injured when an IED (improvised explosive device) blast, triggered by CPI (Maoists), blew up their anti-landmine vehicle in the forest areas of Barha locality under Dumaria police station in Gaya district on Thursday.
This was the third incident of Naxal attack in Dumaria police station area, close to Jharkhand border, in the last five months. The blast, which was followed by an encounter, took place on the day when Bihar director general of police (DGP) Abhayanand was attending a high level meeting of chief secretaries and directors general of police of nine states on strategy to fill security vacuum in seriously affected areas.
Additional director general (law and order) Suresh Kumar Bhardwaj said the condition of all the seven injured was serious and they had been shifted to a private nursing home in the state capital. He said the incident occurred at around 6.20 am on Magra-Chakarbanda route of the district when the anti-landmine vehicle was carrying CRPF personnel engaged in combing operations against Maoists.
The combing operation by the para-military force and the state police was started following an information regarding assemblance of Maoists in the forest area along the Bihar-Jharkhand border.
"During the joint operation, a vehicle carrying the security personnel was blown off in a powerful explosion. The blast was carried through a remote device. The impact was intense that the vehicle was blown away," said the ADG, adding that there was a heavy exchange of fire between the forces and the Maoists after the blast. The encounter continued till evening.
The explosion caused the death of two security personnel on the spot, while as many succumbed to their injuries while being taken to hospital in Gaya.
Two CRPF men died at a private nursing home in Patna. The ADG said the slain CRPF men were identified as inspector Hanumant Singh, sub-inspector Ramji Ram, havildar Lal Babu and constables Aditya Narayan Yadav, Ashok Nirala and Rai Singh.
Four injured cops--Sarfuddin Ali, Amrit Bhai, Manoj Roy and Girish Chandra--have been admitted at a private nursing home in Patna. Doctors attending on them said the condition of Ali was serious.
Among other injured CRPF personnel are deputy commandant BK Singh, apart from constables Sudershan Kumar, Kaushal Sharma and Sachin Pati.
Some more policemen are suspected to be injured in the blast, Bhardwaj said, adding the anti-landmine vehicle was badly damaged. It is suspected that Maoists used a huge quantity of explosives to detonate the IED.
Bhardwaj said the Maoists perhaps sneaked into Jharkhand after triggering the blast and assistance of the government in the neighbouring state had been sought to arrest them. Inspector general (CRPF) M K Sinha said nine troopers were injured in the blast. Four of the injured CPRF personnel were flown to Patna in an Indian Air Force helicopter for treatment, while the other jawans were undergoing treatment at the Anugrah Narain Magadh Medical College and Hospital at Gaya. The IAF chopper was rushed from Ranchi to evacuate the causalities."
"A massive combing operation had been launched under the leadership of DIG (Magadh range) N H Khan, DIG (CRPF) Umesh Kumar and senior police officers of the district to nab the rebe"s," added Sinha.