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Police arrived at blast site about 15 hours late: Minister

Written by: Staff

Raipur, Mar 26 (UNI) Chhattisgarh Home Minister Ramvichar Netam today admitted that protests were held yesterday at Pankhajur during his visit, against the delay in arrival of police at the scene of the landmine blast in Kanker district's Godha in which 14 villagers were killed and four injured.

''The incident occurred on the intervening night of March 24-25 but police could not reach the spot even until early yesterday,'' he said while responding to a question at a press conference here.

When Mr Netam went to visit affected families, slogans were raised against him, a demonstration staged and the Minister gheraoed. Some miscreants even attempted to allegedly assault Mr Netam who was escorted by police to a helicopter that conveyed him back here. He was accompanied by Director-General of Police Om Prakash Rathore.

Denying that the mob attempted to assault him, the Minister claimed that the people calmed down after he announced compensation.

''Yesterday itself, I issued an order transferring Pankhajur's station house officer and assistant sub-inspector. The Inspector-General (Bastar Range) has been directed to submit an inquiry report within two days,'' Mr Netam said.

The mine was triggered off about 10 km from Pankhajur but police arrived on the scene roughly 15 hours later.


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