The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) on Thursday said that information regarding the movement of its contingent was “leaked” which led to the killing of 7 jawans in a deadly landmine blast in Dantewada. Taking an extremely serious view of the “leak”, the CRPF has now initiated a probe into the matter.
“It is certain that the information about their movement was leaked. Somewhere or at some stage this has happened. The boys were doing a surprise non-operational movement and hence were in mufti (military fatigues). We are looking into it,” CRPF Director General K Durga Prasad told media.
On Wednesday 7 CRPF men were killed in a landmine attack by Naxals in a deadly landmine blast in the worst Maoist violence-affected Dantewada district.
The CRPF DG reached Chhattisgarh to visit the blast site near Melawada village where Naxals blew off a Tata-709 mini-truck being used by the CRPF men to go from one camp to the other.
A senior CRPF official told media that the force is probing the role of a “suspect mole” that can be from either from within the force or outside apart from a Court of Inquiry instituted into the incident.
DG Prasad, who rushed to the state from a tour of Maharashtra, said they are working on the leak theory due to a number of facts visible in the incident.
“The men were travelling in normal, non-force vehicle and were not going for any operation. There has been no attack on that road and hence no advance road opening party used to be deployed there. But, information got leaked about their movement. We are looking into all the aspects,” he said.
The DG said the blast was big and it is suspected that about 50-60 kgs of explosive could have been planted beneath the ‘pucca’ metalled road to trigger the explosive.
Officials in the intelligence wing of the force indicated that about 2-3 Naxals were present in the vicinity of the blast spot and are suspected to have “joined the wires” to ignite the hidden improvised explosive device as soon as the vehicle went over it.
The force has called in a team of its bomb and IED experts from Pune to go into the details, the official said.
The attack occurred near the Basaras-Kuakonda axis in Melawada village when a Tata-709 mini-truck of the force went over a landmine at about 3:30 PM.
The troops, most of whom had just returned from leave, were going to their nearby camp.
A Court of Inquiry has been ordered by the force into the incident and to find out under what circumstances the troops were travelling in a four-wheeler, banned for force personnel in these areas due to the threat of hidden IEDs, and why were they not carrying arms as it is mandatory for them while even moving for non-operational tasks.
They said the troops belonged to the 230th battalion of the force deployed in south Bastar area for anti-Naxal operations