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Archive for June, 2010

One more slaughter : Naxals Kill 26 CRPF men in Bastar

Posted by :) on June 30, 2010

Fired From Hilltop On Party That Was Clearing A Road Government Machinery Grapples With Reign Of Terror And Violence Unleashed From Within

Sourece : Supriya Sharma |TNN

Raipur: In another attack that exposed CRPF’s defences yet again, Maoist combatants on Tuesday caught a patrol party off-guard in the jungles of Bastar, mowing down at least 26 men and sending the remaining scurrying for cover.
A road-opening party of the size of a company was ambushed by Maoists 3 km from Dhaudai in Narayanpur district late in the afternoon, said CRPF inspector-general R K Dua. The troopers were returning after clearing a road and were barely 3 km from their camp.
CRPF officers said the patrol of 63 men, checking for mines and explosive devices along the road, came under fire from a hilltop. According to information reaching the headquarters, 26 men were killed instantly and eight injured, five of them critically.
“We are evacuating our men, some have been brought back, and others are in the process of being brought back to safety,’’ Dua said, adding that while two seriously injured men had been evacuated by helicopter, the air sortees had to be suspended as evening fell.
The number of dead and injured may go up, said Vijay Raman, special CRPF director-general. “This is not the final figure.’’ In New Delhi, CRPF director-general Vikram Srivastava said he had held a meeting to take stock of the situation and was flying to the site of the ambush on Wednesday.
Brigadier B K Ponwar, who heads the Army’s Jungle Warfare Centre in Kanker, said it’s critical to secure routes in the jungles. “You have to be doubly secure when making the return journey along the same route. You need to secure all areas from where you can be fired upon.’’
The latest blow to CRPF, which is fast becoming cannon fodder as the Centre and Maoist-infested states dither on launching a full-scale offensive, is bound to revive the debate on taking the Army’s help in fighting Naxals. In a series of meetings that followed the May 28 attack on Jnaneshwari Express, the need to use India’s military prowess was discussed, but both the ruling UPA and even the Congress were divided. Finally defence minister A K Antony ruled out the use of soldiers to combat Naxals, only limiting the military’s role to training police and paramilitary forces.
2010: May 28: Maoists blow up track near Jhargram, derailing Jnaneswari Express and killing 148 passengers, the deadliest attack on civilians
April 6: 75 CRPF men killed in Dantewada, Chhattisgarh
May 8: 8 CRPF jawans killed as Maoists blow up a bullet-proof vehicle in Bijapur, Chhattisgarh
Feb 15: 24 personnel of the Eastern Frontier Rifles (EFR) killed as Maoists attack their camp in Silda, West Midnapore, West Bengal
April 4: Maoists trigger a landmine blast killing 11 security personnel of the elite force Special Operations Group in Koraput, Orrisa
2009:Oct 8: 17 policemen killed in Maoists ambush at Laheri police station in Gadchiroli, Maharashtra
April 22: Maoists hijack a train with at least 300 people on board in Jharkhand and force it to Latehar district before fleeing
May 22: Rebels kill 16 cops in the jungles of Gadchiroli, Maharashtra
2008: July 16: 21 cops killed when a police van was blown up in a landmine blast in Malkangiri, Orissa
June 29: Maoists attack a boat on Balimela reservoir in Orissa carrying four anti-Maoist police officials and 60 Greyhound commandos, killing 38 troops July 16: 21 cops killed when a police van was blown up in a landmine blast in Malkangiri, Orissa

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Posted by :) on June 2, 2010

Neighbours United In Grief: Over 170 Innocents Killed Wantonly In Train & Mosques Naxals Trigger Train Crash, 100 Die

Caesar Mandal | TNN

FATAL VACATION | Sharmin, 7, is pulled out of the wreckage. She and her twin, Shirin, died in each other’s arms. Their parents, Javed and Sabiya, were killed too. It was the family’s first vacation
Jhargram: A gruesome act of sabotage triggered one of the worst train disasters in the country, sending out ominous signs that the Maoists may have moved to the next step in their terror campaign —targeting civilians.
More than 100 train passengers were killed and 200 severely injured near Jhargram, West Midnapore, 150 km from Kolkata, early on Friday as the Mumbai-bound Jnaneswari Express derailed between Khemashuli and Sardiha stations at 1.15am. Several bogies landed on a parallel track and were rammed by a goods train, which roared in barely five minutes later. This comes a few days after Maoists blew up a packed civilian bus in Dantewada just to target a few Special Police Officers who were hitching a ride after an operation.
The Jhargram accident site — barely 7 km from the Kalaikunda air base — was a horrific scene of blood and gore. Mangled bodies hung out of crushed carriages. Torn off limbs
and chunks of flesh were scattered everywhere. Screams of those trapped mingled with the shouts of survivors looking for their loved ones. As the hours dragged on, many of the screams gradually faded out.
While 13 compartments of the passenger train were severely damaged, the goods train engine scraped the right side of the express, peeling off the compartment walls and tearing apart dozens of people, before it slammed into two bogies reducing them into a mass of twisted metal. At least 50 mangled bodies that were dragged by the goods train are suspected to be pasted to its engine.
Till 11 pm on Friday, 81 bodies had been found but West Midnapore district magistrate N S Nigam said the death toll would cross 100.
Maoists are said to have removed pandrol clips along around 50-foot stretch from both tracks. These clips fasten fishplates to the sleepers. One and half feet of the up-line track is missing at the point where compartment S3 had come to rest. While the railways alleged sabotage, the CRPF found a PCPA poster from the accident site which claimed responsibility for the act. DGP Bhupinder Singh said at the accident site that it was a Maoist act and that preliminary inquiries strongly support the suspicion. The railway minister initially accused the rebels, saying a blast threw the train off the tracks, but the Union home ministry said there was no proof of an explosion.
It was an uneventful journey for Jnaneswari Express till well past midnight. It left Kharagpur at 12.35pm and chugged past Khemashuli station at 45km/hr. Just before Sardiha, the engine driver apparently heard a “loud noise”. Before he could react, the wheels started slipping off the tracks near the 134/11 post. He pulled the brakes near post number 134/13, but the train rolled for about 150 metres before breaking apart near post 134/17.
Thirteen compartments were thrown off the tracks. While coaches S2 and S3 tilted to a side, S4, S5, S6, S7 and S8 skidded about 70 feet and landed on the opposite track. Barely five minutes later, before the survivors could recover from the shock, an iron ore-laden goods train was heard approaching from the opposite direction.
An emergency signal was sent to the goods train but it was too late. The driver pulled the brakes but the sheer momentum carried it on to the stranded bogies. One can only imagine the horror of the passengers on coaches S5 and S6 as they saw the train draw near. Both compartments were tossed in the air and crushed like tin cans. There were no survivors. The Jnaneswari locomotive pilot B K Das and assistant pilot T Debangan and the goods train driver Nirbhay Kumar jumped out in the nick of time but Nirbhay’s assistant Nilanjan Singh was crushed to death.
“There was a violent jerk and the lights went off. Everyone was thrown to the floor and the luggage started dropping from the bunks. The compartment tilted to the right and slammed on the ground. We somehow managed to get out,” said Neelam Saluja, who was travelling with her daughter and husband in another coach. Trains a soft target: Mamata
Jhargram: Kharagpur and Jhargram stations were alerted after the attack but rescue efforts took time. The site is 12 km from Jhargram and there are no villages within 3-4 km. CRPF personnel from the Belpara and Manikpara camps were the first to reach the spot at 2.30am. They were followed by an RPF rescue team a half hour later. The jawans did whatever they could in pitch darkness.
It was only at first light that the operation gathered pace with three CRPF battalions, comprising 500 jawans, slicing into compartments with gas cutters and pulling out the trapped and the dead. Initially, the injured were taken to hospitals in CRPF ambulances. Soon, the Air Force got in the act, deploying six helicopters to airlift the seriously injured to hospitals in Kharagpur, Midnapore and Jhargram. Some were brought to Kolkata.
Railway minister Mamata Banerjee, who is camping at the spot, demanded a CBI inquiry. Trains have become a soft target, she said. “We have 65,000 km of rail track running through villages and most express and mail trains travel at night. It is easy to target them,” said the minister.
“An inspection engine piloted the Ranchi-Hatia Express down the same track at 12.37pm. No damage was reported then. This is clearly an act of sabotage,” said Dilip Mitra, ADG of the railways. But PCPA spokesperson Asit Mahato said the outfit had nothing to do with the accident.

0035am| Mumbai-bound Gyaneswari Express leaves Kharagpur 1.15am| Driver hears a noise between Khemashuli and Sardiah stations, pulls brakes at post 134/11 but wheels start slipping off tracks. Train shudders on for 150m before coming apart near post 134/17. All 13 compartments derailed. Coaches S2 & S3 tilt to a side. S4, S5, S6 & S7 skid 70 feet and land on parallel set of tracks. S8 comes to a stop diagonally on the track 1.20am| Goods train laden with iron-ore from Tatanagar heard rolling down other track, on which 5 bogies lie. Driver pulls brakes, but can’t avoid collision. Goods train scrapes the right side of the passenger train, peeling off compartment walls of S2, S3 & S4 and killing dozens. It hits S5 and S6, tossing them in the air and crushing them, before ramming into S7 and S8. Mangled victims are pasted to the goods train engine, whose co-driver is killed

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