One CRPF soldier died and 10 others were injured in an IED explosion near Tadmetla in Sukuma district of Chhattisgarh late Saturday evening. The Assistant Commandant of Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) Nitin Bhalerao succumbed to his injuries early Sunday morning, while reports indicate that the conditions of the others are stable as of now.
The CoBRA is CRPF’s elite unit mainly tasked with dealing with insurgents and Maoists. They were in the Arabraj Metta hills, which is around 480 km away from Raipur, for an anti-Maoist operation. The district is infamous for being one of the worst Maoist-affected areas in the conflict zone of Chhattisgarh. Sources indicate that the Maoists were targeting the 206 CoBRA battalion team. Reportedly, the Maoists detonated a couple of improvised explosive devices (IED) across the area.
The deceased soldier, Nitin, is a native of Nashik in Maharashtra and was a decorated officer and leader, according to sources. He had joined the force in 2010 and joined CoBRA last year. He is survived by his mother, wife, and six-year-old daughter. The Nashik authorities have guaranteed that his last rites will be performed with full state honours.
Director-General of CRPF, Anand Prakash Maheshwari, had paid tributes to the martyred Assistant Commander Nitin in Raipur. He had taken to Twitter and said, “Paid tribute to Shaheed AC Nitin at Raipur. CRPF stands shoulder to shoulder with the family. The sacrifice won’t go waste. We would carry forward the mission with more vigour and synergy and not let adversaries succeed in their dastardly acts (Sic).”
Moreover, he had visited the second-in-command Dinesh and other injured officers at the Raipur hospitals and “saluted their zeal and courage to get well and get back.” He added that they are under good care.