In a barbaric and daring new tactic employed by the Naxals in Jharkhand, the bodies of some CRPF personnel who had been killed in an encounter with the rebels were found to be implanted with IEDs. The startling discovery was made on Thursday when doctors conducting the autopsy of CRPF troopers at a government hospital in Ranchi found a 1.5 kg unexploded bomb stitched inside the abdomen of one of the personnel.
In an encounter with Naxals in the forests of Latehar on January 6, 10 CRPF personnel were killed. While the bodies of six were recovered, four could be located only on Monday. When the security personnel tried to recover the bodies of their slain colleagues with the help of villagers, four civilians were killed as the bodies that had been booby-trapped with IEDs, exploded.
Meanwhile, the bodies of three CRPF personnel were taken to Ranchi where the doctors found stitch marks on them and feared that they were implanted with bombs, said Latehar SP Kranthi Kumar Gadidesi.
A bomb disposal squad was called in and after the X-ray confirmed the presence of IEDs, the team defused the bomb. The IED was a pressure bomb which explodes on being disturbed.
DGP GS Rath said doctors initially refused to conduct the post-mortem after they became suspicious on seeing stiches on the abdomen. A bomb disposal squad expert said it could be for the first time the Naxals have planted an explosive inside a dead body.
The Centre has now indicated that it will send in more CRPF battalions to Latehar. Sources in the Ministry of Home Affairs said that sending in more troops to the area had become necessary as some of the top Naxal leaders were present there. Kranthi Kumar also said that the operation by CRPF and the state's commonado force Jharkhand Jaguars was carried out after specific intelligence which confirmed the presence of a large number of Naxals in the area.
He said that several top Naxals leaders from Bihar and Jharkhand were present in the area and the operation was launched to eliminate them. However, the Naxals trapped the security personnel using the terrain to their advantage. They fired at the troopers from tree tops and hills, influicting heavy casualties.
Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, while addressing a press conference, said the situation was under control. "Ten CRPF personnel, three civilians and eight Naxalites have died." He added, "They keep coming up with new strategies, we have given instructions and have taken control of the situation."
The Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party called the incident barbaric and said that all human rights activists and agencies must come and roundedly condemn "this Naxal strategy of planting bombs into dead soldier's bodies".
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