In a shocking incident, a lightning strike triggered serial IED blasts at Samri in Balrampur district, about 370 km north of Raipur, Chhattisgarh on Sunday. However, no casualties were reported. The IEDs were planted by Naxal terrorists targeting security forces.
Chhattisgarh’s Balrampur district adjoining the Jharkhand state is known for being one of the nerve-centres for Naxals.
According to reports, the Maoists had planted as many as 56 IEDs along the route in the Naxal-affected Pudang area of Samri, north Sarguja zone, with the intent to waylay the security forces who were expected to oversee the area during their patrol duty ahead of the recently concluded 2019 Lok elections.
Sarguja range inspector general of police KC Agrawal, while talking to New Indian Express confirmed, “It appears the Maoists might have placed beneath so many IEDs ahead of the Lok Sabha polls to target the security forces in the region. A flash of lightning is believed to have struck and ignited the serial IED blasts of not very high intensity. There was no reported loss of life or property from the incident. The Balrampur SP has been asked to probe into it.”
The serial blasts have sent shock-waves across the region. The area has been put on high alert. Landmine protected vehicles have been sent to the area for further inspection.
Maoists have successfully conducted terror attacks in Chhattisgarh in the recent past. On April 9, 2019, merely two days ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, five persons, including a BJP MLA, lost their lives when Naxal terrorists ambushed the convoy of BJP in Dantewada in Bastar region Chhattisgarh. Maoists had planted an IED on the road which was triggered when the convoy reached the point. The IED was so powerful that it ripped apart the bulletproof vehicle in which the BJP leader was travelling.
Similarly, in November last year, one day ahead of the Assembly elections in Chhattisgarh, the Maoists triggered 6 IED blasts to target the security forces in between Kattakal and Gome villages.
Moreover, on November 8, Naxals triggered an IED blast on a bus near Bacheli in Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada area in which 3 civilians and 1 CISF personnel lost their lives.