10 cops, civilian killed in Maoist IED blast in Dantewada

The IED blast took place when DRG jawans were returning to the Dantewada district headquarters.

| Updated: 26 April, 2023 4:19 pm IST
Police have launched a search operation in the area (TNI photo)

New Delhi: After a lull of nearly a year, Maoists detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) killing 10 policemen and a civilian in Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh on Wednesday.

A party of district reserve guard (DRG) – a police unit dedicated to anti-Maoist campaigns – was on a search operation in the area following specific inputs about the presence of ultras in the forests of Aranpur when the Maoists unleashed the attack.

The Maoists blew up the mini-goods van in which the security personnel were travelling. “The IED blast took place when the DRG personnel were returning to the district headquarters,” said Dantewada SP Siddhart Tiwari.

“Bodies of all of them are being evacuated from the spot. Senior officers are present there and a search operation has also been launched to nab the perpetrators,” said Bastar IG P Sundarraj.

The powerful IED blast resulted in the creation of a crater on the road.

Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel expressed his deep condolences on Twitter.

“We, as citizens of the state, offer our condolences to them. We all share the grief with their families. May God give peace to their souls,” he tweeted. He also told media persons that the fight against Maoists is in its “last stage”, and they will not be spared.

Meanwhile, Union home minister Amit Shah spoke with CM Baghel and offered all possible help to the state government. He also condemned the heinous attack and expressed his solidarity with the bereaved families.

The explosion tore off DRG’s vehicle into pieces.

“Anguished by the cowardly attack on the Chhattisgarh police at Dantewada. Have spoken to Chhattisgarh’s Chief Minister and assured all possible assistance to the state government. My condolences to the bereaved family members of the martyred Jawans,” he tweeted.

The area is located around 450 km from the state capital Raipur.

Joining other leaders in condemning the attack, Delhi chief minister and AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal said, “This cowardly act of Naxalites is very disturbing. All the governments need to take immediate strict steps to crush Naxalism. Humble tribute to the martyred soldiers! May their souls rest in peace!!”

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