New Delhi (Sputnik) — At least nine personnel from India's Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) have been killed in a massive blast that destroyed a mine-resistant MRAP vehicle in the country's eastern state of Chhattisgarh on Tuesday.
Today’s IED blast in Sukma, Chhattisgarh is deeply distressing. I bow to each and every security personnel who attained martyrdom while serving the nation.— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) March 13, 2018
"Today's IED blast in Sukma, Chhattisgarh is deeply distressing. I bow to each and every security personnel who was martyred defending the nation," Rajnath Singh, India's Minister of Home Affairs said in a statement, according to Times of India.
The blast was allegedly triggered by the left-wing extremists in retaliation for the killing of 10 of their comrades by the security forces earlier this month.
SAD NEWS: 9 Jawans of 212 Battalion CRPF lost their lives in an IED Blast by Red Terrorists in Sukma, Chhattisgarh. Om Shanti Bravehearts! pic.twitter.com/6RYJZ9DdIM— प्रkash (@iPraksy) March 13, 2018
Rahul Gandhi, president of opposition party Indian National Congress took the opportunity to attack the government for having a flawed policy against Maoists.
The Maoist attack in Sukma, Chhattisgarh in which 9 CRPF jawans lost their lives is tragic. It reflects a deteriorating internal security situation due to flawed policies.— Office of RG (@OfficeOfRG) March 13, 2018
My condolences to the families of those killed. To those who have been injured, I wish a speedy recovery.
"The Maoist attack in Sukma, Chhattisgarh in which 9 CRPF jawans lost their lives is tragic. It reflects a deteriorating internal security situation due to flawed policies," Rahul Gandhi said.
The CRPF said the encounter with Maoists took place at around 8 am (Indian Standard Time) on Tuesday.
"Seeing the response of 208 CoBRA, the Maoists initially fled away. Again at about 12:30 pm, the Maoists targeted another team from the 212 battalion of the CRPF between Kistaram and Palodi in Sukma in which an MRAP was blown up with an improvised explosive device. As per information received, 9 CRPF personnel attained martyrdom and 3 are injured. The injured personnel are being evacuated by helicopter to Raipur," CRPF spokesperson Moses Dinakaran told the local media.
The Maoist extremists control swathes of area in central and eastern India, which are rich in natural resources. They have been fighting for the equitable distribution of natural resources among the poor and indigenous communities.
According to government data presented by Hansraj Gagaram Ahir, India's Minister of State for Home Affairs last week, the number of security personnel killed in Maoistviolence has increased considerably in the last three years. In 2015, 59 security personnel were killed in a total of 1,089 incidences related to left-wing extremism, followed by 65 in 2016 and 75 deaths in 2017.