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Two security personnel killed by Maoists in Chhattisgarh ahead of Modi’s visit

More than 30 jawans were travelling in the bus from Kutru to Jangla when Maoists targeted them, police said.

india Updated: Apr 10, 2018 00:06 IST
Ritesh Mishra
Ritesh Mishra
Hindustan Times, Raipur
More than 30 jawans were travelling in the bus from Kutru to Jangla when the Maoists targeted them, police said. (PTI FILE/REPRESENTATIVE IMAGE)

Two security personnel were killed and five injured on Monday when an improvised explosive device (IED) ripped through the bus in which they were travelling to Jangla area in Bijapur district where Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to visit on April 14.

More than 30 jawans were travelling in the bus, police said. “They were travelling from Kutru to Jangla when the bus was targeted by the Maoists. Two jawans of district reserve guards (DRG) were killed and five were seriously injured,” said special director general (anti-naxal operations) D M Awasthi.

“Forces are on high alert in the area now and combing operations are on,” Bastar IG, Vivekanand said.

Modi will launch his government’s ambitious healthcare programme, Ayushman Bharat, from Bijapur, which is a stronghold of the Maoists, with an aim to wooing backward caste communities ahead of the state assembly polls later this year.

Modi will also address a rally and inaugurate a railway line from Dalli Rajahara to Bhanupratapur.

Maoists had circulated pamphlets protesting the Prime Minister’s visit to Bijapur on Ambedkar Jayanti, and appealed to people to boycott the visit.

Handwritten pamphlets were recovered on Sunday evening by the police near a bridge near Mahadev Ghat of the district.

Earlier on Monday morning, two IED blasts were reported from Mahadev Ghat, which were followed by an encounter with the jawans of 85 CRPF battalion.

“A jawan sustained minor injuries in the blasts on Monday morning. We are sanitising the jungles before the PM’s visit,” confirmed Bastar range DIG, Sundaraj P.

PM Visit Preparations

Senior police officers of Chhattisgarh are camping in Bijapur to review the security arrangements in the district.

“12 IAS officers and about a dozen IPS officers are camping in the district for the security arrangements of the PM. About 4,000 jawans are in jungles for the combing operations,” said the DIG.

In state capital Raipur, a series of meetings of top officials of the Chhattisgarh government were on to make the Prime Minister’s programme a success.

Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh along with state BJP president Dharmlal Kaushik had visited Bijapur on Friday to review security arrangements.

The ruling BJP has chosen the backward district of the region to launch their campaign in Chhattisgarh as Bastar is a Congress bastion.

Despite coming to power, the BJP has been able to bag only three of the 12 seats in Bastar region.

The Congress, which has just appointed a team of three coordinators and 14 observers to oversee election activities in Bastar, has termed the PM’s visit as a “desperate attempt of Chhattisgarh BJP to hide their failure in other parts of the state”.

First Published: Apr 09, 2018 16:09 IST