Raipur, May 18: With two more jawans succumbing to injuries, the toll in the Naxal attack on a CRPF team in Chhattisgarh's Dantewada district today rose to seven. CRPF jawans identified as Abdul Qayyum and Surendra Singh died while undergoing treatment in a hospital this morning while the condition of another jawan, Naresh Kumar was critical, police officials said.
The Naxals triggered a landmine blast on a patch connecting Sukma and Keralapal areas of the district last evening when the CRPF team was returning from Keralapal. Senior police officials said that the 2nd battalion of the CRPF, led by commandant Arvind Rai, was returning to Sukma when the ultras triggered the blast in which the vehicle carrying the jawans was blown off.
The CRPF team had gone to Keralapal area to identify place for setting up new barracks for them following the Supreme Court order that security forces in Chhattisgarh to vacate all school buildings, educational institutes and hostels by May 18, the officials said.
The five jawans who were killed in the blast yesterday were identified as Ajit Pratap Singh, Rajpal Chandar, Anthony Minz, Sanjay Kumar and S S Pathania.Meanwhile, the local police and CRPF teams have launched an extensive combing operation to trace the Naxals, they said.
Commander of CRPF's 2nd battalion Arvind Rai escaped unhurt in the attack which occurred when he was travelling with the jawans from Kerlapal to Sukma in Dantewada district, 280 kms from here, Additional Director General of Police Ramniwas said.
The vehicle which was following Rai's jeep was blown up in the blast, killing the five jawans on the spot. Additional forces have been rushed to the site and the injured have been admitted to Jagdalpur hospital, he said.
The officer said that the Supreme Court had directed withdrawal of jawans from schools in Naxal-hit areas and Rai had gone to Kerlapal in connection with the setting up of a new barrack.He was returning from the visit when the Naxals carried out the attack.Naxals had killed 75 CRPF jawans in April last year.PTI