Naxals have mined roads, years in advance, say cops

Tags: Central Reserve Police Force, IED, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Bijapur


Naxals are planning their attacks on security forces years in advance. For example, the explosive device which killed eight Central Reserve Police Force jawans in Chhattisgarh's Bijapur district on Saturday was probably planted deep under the road at the time when the road was being constructed, official sources said. Such devices can be triggered off at will, years after they are planted, catching the security forces completely off guard.

The Chhattisgarh blast which blew up a bullet-proof vehicle left an eight foot deep crater in the road indicating that a very large quantity of explosive was used and it was buried deep under the road. To do this, the Naxals would have had to infiltrate the work force of the contractor building the road, or enlist their help to embed the explosives under the road. To make matters worse for the security forces, such deep devices are expected to have been implanted under several roads in the area. Sources said the Naxals have proper maps of the areas where they have planted the IEDs along with specific locations. They said such Improvised Explosive Devices can be triggered even after several years. "Normally, security forces get suspicious of IEDs when they spot loose stones or wet soil on the road surface. Such devices can be picked up by scanners because they are planted just beneath the road surface. But when deadly bombs are planted deep under the 'pucca' surface of the road, they raise no suspicion and are difficult for sophisticated scanning devices to detect," another official said.
Security officials say the ingenious new strategy demonstrates how determined and devious the Naxals are. They say that the situation is very dangerous in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand where such IEDs are suspected to have been planted in large numbers. One such IED recovered in Jharkhand consisted of about 50 kgs of explosive, sufficient to shatter even an armoured anti-landmine vehicle. Official sources said the Naxals have adopted the strategy of planting heavy IEDs at the time of construction of roads. Once it is planted, it is then covered with tar andstones. "For any normal person, the road will look like any other smooth road that you can drive on. When the Naxals want to blast it, all they do is connect the wires and set it off," a senior security official said. Sources said the state police forces have already started rounding up errant road contractors.

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