The home ministry is set to acquire ultra-wide-band microwave ground penetration radars on an emergency basis for the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) after nine COBRA troopers on board a mine-protected vehicle (MPV) were killed when suspected Maoist rebels detonated an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) in Sukma district of Chhattisgarh on March 13. The radars, which cost around Rs 25 lakh each, have the capacity to detect mines or IEDs buried up to a depth of three feet.
Initial investigations into the attack on the Kishtaram-Palodi road in Sukma have revealed that two blasts took place around noon when two MPVs were passing through the area.
The first blast toppled an MPV, causing the death of nine personnel from head injuries. A much smaller blast was triggered under the second MPV. While no bodies of Maoists were recovered from the spot, intelligence reports from Andhra Greyhounds, a special force created to combat Maoist insurgents, said six rebels were killed after CRPF troopers in the second MPV responded to the attack on the first.
The first MPV and the site of the attack are being studied by experts from the CRPF and Heavy Vehicle Factory, Jabalpur, but reports say that none of the victims have any bullet injuries.