Day after, Home asks: How did mine damage anti-mine vehicle
A day after a Naxal-planted landmine killed 24 CRPF personnel in Chattisgarh's Bijapur district, the Home Ministry has asked the Army Ordnance Factory in Medak to probe why the Mine-Protected Vehicle (MPV) the securitymen were travelling in, failed to withstand the blast.
Senior Home Ministry officials confirmed that a team headed by the Deputy General Manager of the Medak factory, has rushed to Raipur to examine the vehicle. They are expected to submit a report within a week.
The MPV was one of 14 that were recently procured from the Medak factory for anti-Naxal operations. Twelve more were to have been procured soon, the officials said.
CRPF officers said the blast split the vehicle in two. The CRPF is conducting an inquiry into the "possible leak" of information about the movement of its personnel. "Dantewada is a Naxal stronghold and it appears that they had prior information about the movement of the CRPF team," said a senior CRPF officer.
It is learnt that the CRPF team was returning from an operation—that was eventually called off—in Dantewada, when they were attacked. Reports reaching the Home Ministry suggest that after the landmine exploded, about 50 Naxalites attacked the CRPF team, aiming to snatch their arms and ammunition.
Team leader, Commandent B K Toko, who had a miraculous escape, together with other survivors, held off the Naxals till reinforcements arrived from CRPF camps in Bihapur and Gangaloor, said officials.
A team of experts from the National Security Guards (NSG) and the Central Forensic Laboratory (CFSL) have been rushed to Chhattisgarh to study the nature of explosives used.
40 policemen injured in clashes over Gohana
AMRITSAR: Around 40 police officials were injured today in clashes with demonstrators protesting the torching of Dalit houses at Gohana in Haryana. Demonstrators also damaged many vehicles, setting fire to two. Superintendent of Police D P Singh said armed rampaging protesters attacked the police with soft drink bottles and damaged 10 buses—including four Punjab Roadways buses—and five other vehicles, besides setting fire to two motorcycles in the walled city.
Meanwhile, Hoshiarpur witnessed a complete bandh under tight police security, as Dalits demonstrated.
Von: 06 September 2005, http://www.indianexpress.com, von SUDHI RANJAN SEN