Skip to comments.Mine Blast Kills 12 Police in E. India, Communist rebels suspected
Posted on 09/08/2003 5:28:29 PM PDT by Tailgunner Joe
PATNA, India -- Suspected communist rebels detonated a land mine under a passing police vehicle in eastern India on Monday, killing 12 officers, police said.
The attack took place in hilly terrain in Rohtas district, 125 miles west of Patna, the capital of the eastern Indian state of Bihar, said Ritu Raj, the deputy inspector-general of police.
Raj said militants of the outlawed Maoist Communist Center were suspected in the attack since the area is their stronghold. Other details were not immediately available.
The rebels work closely with the People's War Group, another guerrilla group, and are active in five southern and eastern states. They are also suspected of having close links with Nepal's communist rebels.
More than 6,000 people have been killed since the rebels, inspired by Chinese revolutionary leader Mao Zedong, began fighting in 1981. The insurgents mostly target rich landowners and police.
There has been increasing cooperation between the two organisations (PWG and MCC). We suspect this to be a joint operation, said Rithuraj, DIG, Bihar Police.
The ultras took away six rifles, a revolver and a large quantity of ammunition from the assaulted police party, official sources said today. DGP D.P. OJha said a combing operation was on to nab the culprits.
Only a few days back, intense fighting had broken out between ultras and the police. Vijay Kumar Tudu, officer in-charge of Chutia Police Station who was among those killed in todays assault, has been in the PWGs hitlist for long, sources said. He had managed to get transferred and was on his way to take charge in Tilauthu, his new posting, when the remote-controlled landmines ripped apart the vehicle, killing all 12 in it, the sources added.
Ramdeo Prasad (ASI), Ramashish Singh (havildar), Chandramohan Singh, Vijay Narain Tiwari, Mukesh Kumar Singh, Parashuram Mandal, Vivekanand Singh (all district police constables), Rajkeshwar Prasad and Ganesh Shah (Bihar Military Police constables), Bigan Ram (chowkidar) and civilian driver Parwal Singh were the others killed in the incident.
Naxalites target the police mainly for arms. In 2002, a total of 104 people, including 19 extremists, six police personnel and 79 civilians, were killed in Naxal violence. In 2001, 121 people were killed, which included 14 extremists, 24 police personnel and 83 civilians. With todays incident, the number of policemen killed this year has crossed 30. The state government gives Rs 10 lakh as ex-gratia compensation to the family of each policeman killed in Naxal violence and a job for a family member. We ensure that the compensation is given quickly in these cases, said B.K. Haldar, State Home Secretary.