In a tragic incident, three police personnel died Thursday and three others got critically injured in a landmine explosion at Naxal-infested Kandhamal district.
The incident took place near Srirampur in Kandhamal when the vehicle, in which six police men were traveling, blew up in the landmine explosion, suspected to be triggered by the Naxals.
Critically injured persons, including two constables and one home guard, were first admitted to the local hospital and later, airlifted from Baliguda to Cuttack for further treatment. The dead bodies were sent to Phulbani.
The police personnel, comprising jawans of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), bomb disposal squad and the police scientific team were on their way to investigate yesterday’s landmine explosion at Kandhamal when their vehicle was blown up by the landmine on Thursday. In yesterday’s explosion one person was killed, said DIG R K Sharma.
Senior police officers including SP (Kandhamal) JN Pankaj along with the security forces rushed to the spot immediately after the incident, he said.
On Thursday was the second day of the two-day state-wide bandh called by the Communist Party of India (Maoist).
The party had called 48-hour state-wide bandh from January 4 in protest against the arrest of innocent tribal people suspected to be Maoist rebels. They demanded for withdrawal of CRPF from the tribal areas and also opposed the entry of multinational companies into the state for establishment of plants.
On Wednesday morning, the rebels had burned down three mobile towers in Ganjam district on the first day bandh.
Meanwhile the road communication in several parts of Kandhamal, Ganjam and Gajapati districts continued to disrupt as the private operators and state-owned Orissa State Road Transport Corporation (OSRTC) decided not to offer services to these areas due to the bandh.
The left-wing ultras have also blocked roads in several places in Kandhamal.