Landmines, A Deadly Weapon

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Landmine attacks are considered to be the most lethal because of the heavy toll they take of human lives, specially the men in uniform. In 2008 the Maoists had killed 17 policemen in Malkangiri district by detonating a powerful landmine at MV-126 village in the Kalimela police station area.

In the war between the state government and the Maoist ultras landmines remain the most destructive weapon in the hands of the rebels. They have not only been using it with increasing frequency but also with lethal effect. The last major landmine blast was triggered by the rebels in Koraput’s Sunki valley on February 1 this year killing eight Odisha  police drivers.

Increased used of landmines not only means more human casualties but also more legwork for the security forces, literally. Sources said that security forces combing the forests of Koraput and Malkangiri, a terrain made treacherous by the extensive use of landmines by the rebels, have been advised to undertake patrolling as far as possible on foot to avoid the deadly maze of explosive wires tucked underground.

They have been asked to be particularly careful during night patrolling where necessary. “Forces on patrolling duty during night time have to be extra careful. Since they cannot take risks they move about on foot as vehicles are more prone to trample upon landmines causing them to explode,” said sub-divisional police officer (SDPO), Rayagada, Jagannath Rao.

Foot patrolling in the Maoist territory is not only considered to be safe but also cost effective. While it vastly reduces the chance of damage to police vehicles it also means less expense on fuel. The most important factor, however, remains the security of jawans themselves.  Officers like Rao argue that foot patrolling parties armed with flashlights and sophisticated mine-detection equipment would be in a much better position to avoid secretly laid explosives and booby traps. “Precautions like foot patrolling can save many lives,” quipped Rao.

Landmine attacks are considered to be the most lethal because of the heavy toll they take of human lives, specially the men in uniform. In 2008 the Maoists had killed 17 policemen in Malkangiri district by detonating a powerful landmine at MV-126 village in the Kalimela police station area.

The blast took place, about 50 km from Malkangiri town, when jawans of Special Operation Group (SPG) and district police were travelling in a van. The explosion blew up the van when it stopped at one of the road blocks raised by the Maoists on the Mottu-Kalimela road. Similar blasts have also taken place in some other areas and almost each time it is the men in khaki or the troopers in camouflage fatigues who have paid the price with their lives

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