They were on a mission to save their four-legged comrade. But, it cost them their lives in a Maoist strike in Dantewada.
On Wednesday, the jawans were trying to arrange medical aid for sick “Scout”, a Belgian Malinois who had proved his mettle as an expert sniffer dog. He had been part of several anti-Maoist operations in the Red zone. Their four-legged comrade suffered a heat stroke and was seriously ill due to dehydration in the jungle heat.
While the jawans were on their way to evacuate Scout, an IED blast blew up their vehicle.
The soldiers belonging to CRPF's 230 battalion were travelling in a tempo from their post in Nerli to Bhusaras Ghati camp, about 40km away.
Taking all precautions against the ultras, they travelled in a civil vehicle and wore plain clothes. They were not carrying any weapons either. However, the information seems to have got somehow leaked.
They stopped at the Bacheli bus stand, where six other CRPF personnel were waiting for a civil bus. They boarded the vehicle since it was headed to their companies. Later, three of them got down at Renganar to collect a cooler for the sniffer dog, after they were supposed to shift Scout to a veterinary hospital.
A few kilometres ahead on the Dantewada-Sukma road, as their vehicle crossed Mailavada village, the men were killed in the IED blast.
"All three have gunshot wounds on head and chest. It seems the Maoists shot them after the blast, to make sure they were dead,” said CRPF DG K Durga Prasad.
According to officials, extremists may have informed the attacking party after they saw the jawans leaving the Renganar camp. It could be that the jawans were identified by Maoist sympathisers when they had stopped at a market.
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