Seven state police jawans were killed on Sunday morning when Maoists allegedly blew up their vehicle with an improvised explosive device (IED) in Dantewada district, the police said. The Maoists also looted six automatic rifles of the police personnel after the blast and fled into the jungles.
The injured policeman has been airlifted to Raipur and his condition is said to be critical, the police said.
Special director general of police (anti-Naxal operations) DM Awasthi confirmed the deaths in Dantewada, adding that the Maoists targeted the team of state police jawans who were escorting a truck carrying material for road construction in the area.
“For the last one year, construction of the Kirandul and Arangpur road was stopped but we have restarted it just a few days ago. The jawans were escorting a truck which was laden with building material when the Maoists targeted them at a culvert between Cholnar and Kirandul village,” said Awasthi.
“The Maoists have looted two Insas rifles, two SLRs and two AK-47 and other equipments from the spot,” Awasthi added.
The jawans who were killed in the blast have been identified as Ram Kumar Yadav (head constable), Tikeshwar Dhruve (constable), Saligraam (assistant constable), Vikram Yadav (assistant constable), Rajesh Singh (constable ) and VIrendra Singh (constable).
In April, security forces had killed eight Maoists, including five women, in a forest in Chhattisgarh’s Bijapur district. This followed a major operation in neighbouring Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli that left 39 rebels dead.
Following Sunday’s blast, joint operations to hunt down the Maoists in the area have been launched by the Sukma and Dantewada police.