A landmine blast in the Maoist-hit Chhaterpur village of Jharkhand’s Palamu district, killing about seven policemen and injuring six others.
The team was reported to have returned to Hussainabad after conducting long-range patrolling in the Kala Pahar region, considering a Maoist hotbed.
Sources claim that the officer-in-charge miraculously escaped the explosion. Rajesh Prasad Rajak crossed the spot seconds after the explosion.
As per the FIR reports, the blast is suspected to have been triggered by CPI(Maoists). The policemen, claim that the blast was timed at around 5 30 pm. The policemen were travelling in a mini-truck and were in violation of the standard operational procedure.
“Seven police personnel including the police driver, chowkidar, one head constable and four constables were killed and six injured when an IED triggered by the Maoists blew up their vehicle,” said Inspector General (Operation), MS Bhatia.
“All the injured police personnel have been rescued from the spot and admitted to a Daltonganj hospital. An MI- 17 helicopter has been sent to Daltonganj to bring them to Ranchi for better treatment,” he added.
The security forces had launched an anti-Maoist offensive in the Kala Pahar region recently and raided the hideout of the extremists.