Raipur Chattisgarh: Approximately 400 kilometres south of Raipur, in the Dantewada district of Bastar, Maoists exploded a powerful IED on a Kuchha road and opened fire on the wounded jawans near Arnapur, killing at least 10 soldiers of the District Reserve Guards (DRG) and their civilian driver on Wednesday.
The blast was triggered between 1:00pm -1:30pm when around 200 jawans were returning in a convoy. According to officials 50 Kg of explosive was used.The IED was so powerful that it tore a crater across the width of the village road that was 12 feet deep and about 5 feet wide. The blast bent several of the arms out of shape and completely obliterated the vehicle.
This is the biggest Maoist attack to occur in Bastar Since the April 1, 2001, ambush in Bijapur, which left 22 jawans dead and 30 injured. It happens during an election year, not long after the central, and the state government said that Maoist activity was declining.
According to Dantewada SP Siddharth Tiwari, the DRG troops were engaged in a search operation when the IED was set up by the Maoists. The DRG team left their headquarters in Dantewada after police learned that Maoists had been seen in the Puru Hidma region from the Darbha division, according to Bastar range IG P Sundarraj.
Two cadres were detained when a gunfight between DRG and Maoists broke out early on Wednesday in Nahadi Village, some 7 km from Aranpur, according to police. Maoists attacked the jawans’ vehicle on the Aranpur-Sameli route as they were travelling back to Dantewada after the operation, according to IG Sundarraj.
The jawans were riding in a convoy of MUVs that were 150 metres apart when one of the vehicles exploded at Sameli village, around 20 kilometres from the location of the morning’s encounter and 45 km from Dantewada.
Gov. Biswabhushan Harichandan, PM Narendra Modi, CM Bhupesh Baghel, and Union Home Minister Amit Shah all sent their condolences. During their conversation, Shah assured the state all the help and assistance required.
The majority of the victims were Dantewada locals. Offices did not rule out the possibility that victims might involve Maoists who had been captured. When this report was submitted, the mortal remains and weapons were still being collected.