Malkangiri BSF killings to come under NIA scanner

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) will probe the killing of four personnel of the Border Security Force (BSF), including a Commandant, who were killed in an ambush by the Maoists in Malkangiri district in south Odisha on February 10, 2012.

For the first time, the NIA would investigate into a Maoist attack on the BSF in the State, an official in the department of Home here said.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has allowed such an inquiry, which was sought by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) as it was the first major Maoist attack on BSF personnel involved in anti-Red extremist operations in the State.

With the Chief Minister’s approval, National Investigation Agency sleuths would now go into details of the incident in which BSF 107 Battalion Commandant JK Khaswan, deputy Comm andant Rajesh Sawan, inspector Ashok Yadav and assistant sub-inspector Jitendra Sahu fell to the bullets of the Maoists instantaneously.

Daredevil Khaswan was a terror among the Maoists in Malkangiri. The BSF personnel had gone to the Company Operation Base (COB) located at the Tunnel Camp in Chitrakonda on February 9. They were on their way to the Battalion Headquarters at Balimela after overseeing security arrangements for the general elections.

On February 10, around 1 pm, their Bolero overturned in a landmine blast, 16 km from Chitrakonda.

No one was seriously injured or killed in the blast, but before the personnel could take position they fell victims to the indiscriminate firing by the Maoists hiding in the nearby dense forest.

Two other occupants of the vehicle, constable Bishnu Pani and driver S Kundu sustained injuries.

A vehicle of the Department of Water Resources (DoWR) carrying four employees was also shot at on the spot. Driver of the vehicle Ananta Kumar Mallick, Tanu Chandra Jena, Govind Rao and Srikant Behera also came under Maoists’ fire, leaving Srikant and Govind injured.

The district is a major hotbed of Maoist activity as it borders the Leftwing extremist-infested areas of Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. Five BSF battalions are deployed in this Red zone.
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