4 civilians, 1 jawan dead in Maoist blast

Sources said that there was a 'serious lapse' on part of the men of 205 Company who were deployed for election duty.

The Maoists on Thursday targeted a civilian bus carrying CISF soldiers in Bacheli, Dantewada. A CISF soldier was among five killed in the attack just a day ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the state on Friday to address a rally ahead of the November 12 election in the Maoistaffected region.

Two other personnel were injured badly in an IED attack and were flown to Raipur for treatment. This is the third such attack in Chhattisgarh within a span of two weeks.

Top sources in the security grid, however, said that this was a "serious lapse" on part of the men of 205 Company who were deployed for election duty. The men were carrying ration and tasked for provisioning items.

Saying that ahead of deployment, all Central Armed Police Force personnel were advised to follow standard operating procedure. Sources said the men, who were in civilian clothes, would have been tracked once they got down to buy ration.

On their return, in Bacheli, they were targeted on the concrete road. Sources, however, said that the area is not Maoist infested and no roadopening party is deployed by the security forces may be why they chose to strike in the area.

A day before the improvised explosive device (IED) blast, the CRPF had discovered seven IEDs meant to target security forces. All were defused. Sources say there needs to be, not just luck, but, a lot of preparation and precaution in these areas.

So did the CISF men throw caution to the wind? DG CISF Rajesh Ranjan refuted allegations of negligence but said: "Lessons have been learnt. We have made key changes since the incident and we have adapted new SOPs (standard operating procedure).

"Our personnel were doing the best. This is a pucca metal road which is regularly used. Earlier these concrete roads were not targeted."

"A CISF jawan and four civilians lost their lives and two have been injured in the attack today. The morale of the forces will not be affected due to these attacks. The upcoming Assembly elections will be conducted peacefully," said V Sinha, IG Bastar.

On October 30, a Doordarshan video journalist was killed in Dantewada while they were out to cover the poll preparations in the area ahead of the upcoming Assembly elections.

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