Ch'garh: Naxal blast during President's visit, 4 killed

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Jagdalpur, Chhattisgarh, Sep 29: Four CRPF personnel, including a Deputy Commander, were killed and three others injured today when Maoist naxalites ambushed a police jeep on patrol duty during President Pratibha Patil's visit to the famous Chitrakote waterfall on the Indrawati river in Bastar district.

Mrs Patil was watching the picturesque waterfall when the naxalites triggered the land mine explosion blowing up the police jeep, about 18 KM away from the tourist spot, on the Chitrakote-Barsur road, police said, adding later the President returned to the state capital Raipur as per schedule by a helicopter.

Deputy Commander Diwakar Mahapatra and jeep driver L K Kora were killed on the spot, while Head Constable S B Verma and Constable N K Jha died at the government hospital here.

The seriously injured were being shifted to Raipur medical college hospital in a helicopter, police said.

The injured were identified as Constable R Barme, Head Constable Ravindra Naidu and Special Police Officer Saniram.

Local tribal youth, including girls, were recruited as SPOs on a monthly salary of Rs 1500 to assist the security personnel engaged in anti-naxal operations in Bastar region, worst affected by the naxal activities for over two decades.

In view of the President's visit, tight security arrangements were in place around 25 Km periphery of the waterfall. However, the ultras blew up the police jeep 18 Km from the waterfall when the security personnel were patrolling the area.


UNI

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