A 1.5kg bomb was planted by Maoists inside the stomach of a CRPF jawan killed in an encounter with the rebels in a brutal tactic perhaps used for the first time by Naxals in the country. The Naxals had surgically inserted an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) in the body of the slain jawan of the Central Reserve Police Force(CRPF) who was killed three days back in an ambush in Jharkhand's Latehar district, Police said on Thursday.
Taking note of the Maoist strategy that has come to light, Union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde said in New Delhi, "they are employing new new tactics". Doctors conducting the autopsy of the CRPF troopers at a government hospital in Ranchi were shocked when they found a 1.5kg unexploded bomb stitched inside the abdomen of 29-year- old Constable Babulal Patel who was among those killed in the encounter. Patel hailed from Allahabad.
Jharkhand DGP GS Rath said the body of Patel with the IED implanted in it was recovered by patrol squads last evening from near the encounter site. "The doctors became suspicious when they saw the body of the CRPF jawan. The bomb disposal squad was then called and the body was placed in an open field," Rath said here in Ranchi. Police also said an X-ray showed a bomb.
Later, the IED was defused by the bomb squad, a senior CRPF official said. The IED was a pressure bomb prototype which explodes on being disturbed, he said, adding that doctors initially refused to conduct the post-mortem after they became suspicious on seeing stiches on the abdomen.
The IED placed in the stomach of the jawan air-lifted from the encounter site to Ranchi did not explode, Latehar Superintendent of Police Kranti Kumar said. "The IEDs were fitted in the stomachs of two personnel. The one in the body of CRPF jawan Baijanath Kisku exploded inflicting casualties," Kumar said.
The death toll in the encounter rose to 14 with the recovery of the body of another civilian. In all, nine CRPF personnel, one personnel from the state's special anti-Naxal force 'Jharkhand Jaguars' and four civilians were killed in the encounter that occurred on January 7.
On Wednesday, Rath said the Maoists planted explosives underneath the bodies which exploded when they were being removed. This tactic has been previously employed to inflict casualties but a bomb disposal squad expert said it could be for the first time the Naxals have planted an explosive inside a dead body. Kumar claimed nine Maoists were killed and several were injured in the encounter. The dead and injured were dragged away by the rebels leaving behind trails of blood, he added.