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CoBRA officer killed, 9 commandos injured in blast by Naxals

Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra
Last updated on: November 29, 2020 16:28 IST
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An officer of the Central Reserve Police Force's jungle warfare unit, Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA), was killed while nine commandos were injured after Maoists triggered an improvised explosive device blast in Chhattisgarh's Sukma district on Saturday night, security officials said.

Image used only for representation. Photograph: ANI Photo

They said the improvised explosive device explosion took place in the Chintalnar forest area of the district at around 9 pm and the injured personnel were evacuated by an Indian Air Force helicopter at around midnight.

Assistant Commandant Nitin P Bhalerao, 33, succumbed to injuries in the early hours of Sunday.

Nine commandos, including the team leader second-in-command rank officer Dinesh Kumar Singh, were injured in the incident, they said.

Seven commandos are being treated at a hospital in Raipur, while two are being given medical care at a unit hospital at Chintalnar, located in the south Bastar area of the state, they said.

Sukma district is located at a distance of about 400 km from Raipur.

 

The injured troops belong to the 206th battalion of the CoBRA.

A joint team of the CoBRA and local police was out for an area domination exercise when the blast took place, the officials said.

The team was scouting the area for the proposed induction of some new battalions of the Central Reserve Police Force and establishment of their new camps in this area and that is when the IED went off, official sources said.

Five more CRPF battalions are expected to be inducted in Chhattisgarh for anti-Maoist duties after the Union home ministry recently gave its approval.

CRPF director general A P Maheshwari, who took a morning flight from Delhi to reach Raipur, laid a wreath and paid tributes to the officer at a force camp here.

"CRPF stands shoulder to shoulder with the family. The sacrifice won't go waste. We would carry forward the mission with more vigour and synergy and not let adversaries succeed in their dastardly acts," he said on his Twitter handle.

Bhalerao, a resident of Nashik in Maharashtra, was a decorated commando and had been adjudged the best in various combat competitions, a senior officer of the force said.

He joined the CRPF in 2010 and had come to CoBRA last year.

He is survived by his mother, wife and a six-year-old daughter, they said.

His mortal remains will be taken by an aircraft that is expected to land in Nashik this evening, a CRPF spokesperson said.

The CoBRA was raised by the CRPF in 2009 as a special guerrilla combat commando unit for undertaking anti-Naxal operations as well as combating insurgents in the northeast.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra© Copyright 2021 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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