10 CRPF men killed in Maoist blast in Bihar, PM Modi condoles deaths

Patna/New Delhi: Ten CRPF troopers belonging to the elite CoBRA division were killed in a powerful landmine blast triggered by Maoists in Aurangabad district of Bihar, an official said on Tuesday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the deaths while the Bihar government has announced a compensation of Rs 25 lakh each to the kin of the killed personnel. According to police officials in Patna, six Central Reserve Police Force troopers were also critically injured in the Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blast in the Chakarbanda-Dumarinala forest area bordering Gaya district late on Monday night.  Police said four Maoists were killed in the ensuing encounter.  The CRPF personnel were conducting a combing operation when the blast occurred. "Eight personnel were killed on the spot after Maoists triggered the IED, while two others succumbed to injuries when they were being evacuated," an official said.  The troopers belonged to the CRPF 205th Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) deployed in Bihar for anti-Maoist operations.  According to police officials, it appears that the Maoists used a huge quantity of explosives for the blast. An AK-47 rifle, INSAS rifle and under-barrel grenade launcher were also seized from the spot. Prime Minister Modi condoled the deaths and prayed for the speedy recovery of the injured, an official statement said in New Delhi.  An official from the Bihar Chief Minister's Office said the state government will give Rs 5 lakh each to the kin of deceased CRPF men from its welfare fund, and another Rs 20 lakh each from insurance money as per a special scheme for security personnel deployed in Maoist-affected districts. The state government will also provide the best medical treatment to the six injured CRPF personnel, he said. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, in a brief telephonic talk with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, assured him of all necessary help from the Centre to tackle the Maoists in the state, an official source said in New Delhi. Expressing his condolences to the bereaved families, the Home Minister also directed CRPF Director General K. Durga Prasad to visit the Gaya-Aurangabad region to assess the situation. The Chief Minister briefed Rajnath Singh on the steps taken to arrest those involved in the attack.