DANTEWADA: Seven security personnel, including men from the Chhattisgarh Armed Forces and from District Force, were on Sunday killed in a blast on a police vehicle in Dantewada in Chhattisgarh. Five personnel died on the spot and two were rushed to the National Mineral Development Corporation's hospital at Kirandul. One of them died during treatment at the hospital and another was airlifted to Raipur, where he died.
The deafening blast, near Cholnar, targeted a jeep in which seven security personnel were patrolling in a remote area. The team was surveying a road being built between Kirandul and Cholnar when it was attacked. "We have sounded a high alert in the area and launched a search operation for the Naxalites," Inspector General of Police (Bastar) Vivekanand Sinha said.
The blast took place two days before Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh is set to hold a public meeting in Dantewada. Officials said security would be further increased for the Chief Minister`s meeting.
Condemning the attack, Singh termed it "cowardly" and said it exposed the rebels' anti-people and anti-development mindset. "Our police personnel have sacrificed their lives while guarding a road construction site. Their sacrifice will always be remembered," he said.
"This proves that Naxalites do not want villagers and tribal people of this district to have access to even basic facilities such as roads. Incidents like these cannot dampen the courage and determination of our police force and officials, employees and labourers associated with road construction," Singh added.
"We are committed to provide all-weather transportation facility by developing a network of roads in the entire Bastar division, including Dantewada," he said.
(With PTI inputs)