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Red terror: 2 CRPF officials killed, 12 hurt in C’garh landmine blast

Two CRPF officials, including a deputy commandant, were killed and 12 security personnel were injured in a landmine blast triggered by Naxals in Sukma district of Chhattisgarh on Sunday, police said.

The incident took place on Sunday morning in a forest near Bodhrajpadar village under Bhejji police station limits, Sukma additional superintendent of police Neeraj Chandrakar said.

Deputy commandant Nihal Alam, a native of Bihar who belonged to the 219 Battalion of CRPF, and constable Rajiv Rawat, a native of West Bengal who was from the same unit, were killed, the ASP said.

Among the injured, those who were airlifted and admitted to various hospitals in Raipur are: Deputy commander Ratnesh Kumar Verma of 219 CRPF, constable Pramod Malkar, head constable Mahesh Kumar Sharma, constable Jitendra Behra, constable Dinesh Yadav, constable PK Mohanti, all belonging to the same unit; additional sub inspector (district police) Hriday Ram Verma who is also the in-charge of Bhejji police station, and assistant constable Nehrulal Kashyap of the local police.

Four others were being treated at a hospital in Bijapur.

‘The entire operation was being led by senior officers,’ CRPF inspector general (operations) HS Sidhu said.

In all, 12 security personnel, including a CRPF deputy commandant, seven other officials of the force and four state policemen were injured in the incident, he said.

A joint squad of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), its specialised unit Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (COBRA) and district police personnel was engaged in an anti-Naxal operation in the region (which is around 500 km away from Raipur) for the past few days.

Maoists triggered a landmine blast first and opened fire on the security personnel, Chandrakar said.
They retreated as the security personnel retaliated and began to encircle them.
Two helicopters were pressed into service to retrieve the injured personnel.

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