Two deadly attacks in Chhatttisgarh, 15 cops killed (Third Lead)

June 10th, 2011 - 11:53 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Raipur, June 10 (IANS) Chhattisgarh, one of the states worst-affected by a Maoist insurgency, was reeling Friday from the fallout of two deadly rebel attacks that killed 15 policemen in the southern mineral-rich Bastar region. Senior police officers attributed the attacks to intelligence failures.

Senior police officers, including Director General of Police Vishwa Ranjan rushed to the forested area near Katekalyan in Dantewada district, over 400 km south of Raipur, where around midnight Thursday, Maoists blew up an anti-landmine vehicle, killing 10 policemen and injuring four.

It was the second Maoist attack in the state within a day after the rebels gunned down five policemen in Bastar’s Narayanpur district Thursday morning.

Officers at the police headquarters here said that both incidents pointed to “a total failure of intelligence gathering system”.

“Maoists trapped policemen in both the cases easily because they managed to bring them from their bases to attack point by sending them wrong information about Maoists’ gathering,” a senior police officer told IANS.

In the Katekalyan incident, Maoists easily managed bring a vehicle filled with policemen to a location where they had put a bomb weighing not less than 100 kg and after blowing up the vehicle, they took away the policemen’s weapons.

Meanwhile, Additional Director General of Police Ram Niwas told IANS: “It was a massive blast. Maoists, mainly women insurgents, blew up an anti-landmine vehicle around midnight when policemen were moving in two vehicles on a search operation.” told IANS.

The anti-landmine vehicle was tossed up in the air by the blast before it landed in pieces, he said.

Those killed included seven special police officers (SPOs) and three state police personnel. Four policemen were battling for life at a government hospital in Jagdalpur town, headquarters of Bastar region, he said.

Policemen who rushed to the site early hours Friday said the blast had created a crater at a culvert where the anti-landmine vehicle was hit.

“The blast gave a thunderous sound. They (Maoists) opened firing after the blast,” Lachhu, an injured constable, told a local news channel.

Congress, the main opposition party, launched a scathing attack on the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government for “continuous killing of policemen and intelligence breakdown of police department”.

“BJP government has lost control in the vast interiors of at least 10 of the state’s 18 districts,” Congress state general secretary Ramesh Varlyani said in a statement.

Bastar region is made up of five districts - Narayanpur, Kanker, Bastar, Bijapur and Dantewada.

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