The landmine, which was found at the forest of Binpur might have been planted by Maoists or other extremist forces – security personnel suspect.
The joint operation, conducted by Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and CoBRA force spotted the landmine and timely defused it. “We suspect that it is the handiwork of Maoists. If the land mine exploded, it could have led to the loss of countless lives” said the officers.
It is to be remembered that four police personnel were injured in a landmine blast in this same place, known for a Maoist-stronghold of West Midnapore district on December 22, 2009. The incident took place near Rathbera of Dahijuri locality in the district. A police team was on its way to a trouble zone to rescue a family allegedly attacked by the Maoist extremists when the blast occurred.
On Friday, the force conducted a raid throughout the forest, accompanied with sniffer dogs and found that a canister made of steel was placed under the soil. The police dug up the area, disconnected the wires and picked up the canister.
“We have recovered a hefty quantity of explosives kept in the canister. That explosives could have created a heavy blast leading to severe casualties,” said CRPF commandant DK Mullick. He also added that the container and the explosives looked new. It seemed that the mine was placed a few days ago.
Two cylinder-like landmines were recovered from Jhargram a few months ago, after which the district police chief held a meeting discussing the regrouping of Maoists.
However, West Midnapore district have witnessed many land mine explosions in past. Many of such landmines were defused in the same fashion as force did on Friday. Mohanpur – an area near Thursday’s spot, had also witnessed such landmine recovery.
“The Combined Force personnel found a landmine in Mohanpur jungle of our district in October of 2011. The additional superintendent of police Kalyan Mukherjee, who was then in charge of Jangalmahal area, spotted the landmine. The landmine was detected during a patrol. The mine was planted inside a pipe unlike other landmines which are kept in containers – almost identical to Friday’s process,” Shakti Murmu, a local villager said.