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Another Naxal attack, 5 CRPF troopers killed in landmine blast
Published on 20 May. 2010 12:17 AM IST
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Five troopers of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), including a deputy commandant, were killed and one was injured when Maoist guerrillas blew up their patrol vehicle by detonating a landmine in the trouble-torn Lalgarh belt of West Bengal’s West Midnapore district Wednesday, police said.
The Maoist rebels triggered the explosion between Pingboni and Ramgarh areas under Lalgarh police station, about 200 km west of here, on the second day of the 48-hour strike called by them in five states, demanding the withdrawal of the joint security operation against them by the states and the central government.
“Four of the jawans died on the spot. The deputy commandant, Vijay Pal Singh, was pronounced dead in a private hospital in Kolkata where he was admitted in the evening,” Inspector General of Police (Western Range) Zulfiqar Hassan told IANS.
Pal had sustained severe head injuries.
Director General of Police Bhupinder Singh said the deputy commandant died on way to hospital after getting off from the helicopter in which he had been flown in from West Midnapore.
Hassan said another seriously injured trooper, N.K. Ghosh, was being treated in the hospital.
Pal, who had been posted in the area recently, and Ghosh were shifted to Kolkata after their condition deteriorated in the West Midnapore district hospital where they were admitted earlier.
The blast occurred when the troopers were patrolling a forested stretch.
The vehicle was totally wrecked in the explosion that occurred at 11.30 a.m and left a five-foot-deep crater on the road.
A large team of joint security forces comprising paramilitary troopers and state armed policemen have been rushed to the spot. The blast site has been cordoned off and the security forces were combing the area to hunt down the culprits.
Meanwhile, four journalists including two from a television channel were injured when they were beaten up by CRPF troopers about one kilometre from the blast spot.
Alleging that the media’s coverage of the anti-Maoist security operation was responsible for the death of their colleagues, the CRPF men rained batons and used the butts of their AK 47 rifles on the scribes who had gone to the area to cover the incident. The joint forces have been deployed in the area for over 11 months to flush out Maoist guerrillas, who had earlier turned Lalgarh into a virtual free zone by torching police camps and driving out the civil administration for about seven months.
The Maoist rebels are also active in Bankura and Purulia districts of the state.

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