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Site where the IED blast took place in Dantewada(Chhattisgarh) killing seven CRPF jawans. (Photo courtesy: ANI)
Site where the IED blast took place in Dantewada(Chhattisgarh) killing seven CRPF jawans. (Photo courtesy: ANI)

The CRPF believes that information regarding the movement of its troops, killed in a deadly
landmine blast in Dantewada, was “leaked” and it has begun a probe to find out the mole who could be from “within or outside” the paramilitary.

“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. We are looking into it,” CRPF Director General K Durga Prasad told PTI.

Seven CRPF men were killed yesterday in a deadly landmine blast carried out by Naxals that also left a massive four-feet deep crater on the road in the worst Maoist violence-affected
Dantewada district.

The DG reached Chhattisgarh late last night and will travel to the blast site near Melawada village in the said district 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 said that apart from a Court of Inquiry instituted into the incident, the force is also probing the role of a “suspect mole who can be from either from within the force or outside. ”

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.

ALSO READ: 7 CRPF Personnel Martyred In IED Blast, Weapons Looted At Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada District

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.