Naxals armoury reloaded with Rambo arrows, rocket bombs: Report

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New Delhi | May 6, 2018 11:13 PM

Naxals have developed some lethal and crude ammunition like Rambo arrows, topped with gun powder, and improvised rocket bombs as part of their new armoury to be used on security forces.

NAXALS, NAXALITES INDIA, NAXALITE STRENGTHThe IEDs in the LWE theatre have emerged as the biggest killers over the past many years. (Reuters)

Naxals have developed some lethal and crude ammunition like Rambo arrows, topped with gun powder, and improvised rocket bombs as part of their new armoury to be used on security forces, says a new report.

The report prepared by a joint security command on IED threats in Left Wing Extremism (LWE) hit areas said the Maoists have devised a smart way of concealing crude bombs in animal excreta to deceive sniffer dogs of the security teams from detecting and alerting their masters.

“There were occasions in the first quarter of 2017, when sniffer dogs of security forces were killed or injured as pressure improvised explosive devices (IEDs) exploded while the canines were getting agitated because of the obnoxious smell (of the excreta) while trying to detect the hidden IEDs,” the report accessed by PTI said.

Two CRPF dogs, known as the ‘Osama hunters’, were killed last year due to Naxal planted IEDs in Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh, prompting the force to order an inquiry into these unusual incidents.

The force believe that the IED that killed the dogs was concealed in animal excreta.

The IEDs in the LWE theatre have emerged as the biggest killers over the past many years as they have maimed and killed hundreds of security forces personnel in various states.

One of the newest technique witnessed in this domain, the report said, is the use of an innovative explosive material called ‘rambo arrow’ by CPI (Maoist) cadres.

“The arrow head carries low grade gun powder or fire cracker powder which explodes after hitting the target.

“The rambo arrow doesn’t cause much damage but disorients the security personnel by generating intense heat and fog, thereby making it easy for the Maoists to inflict fatal battle injuries on the troops and helps them to loot their weapons,” the analysis of the new IED trends said.

The report said the Maoists are increasingly using this technique instead of high grade explosives or IEDs as such a blast renders the weapons of the security personnel useless as they get badly damaged.

This tactic was prominently witnessed on April 24 last year, it said, when Naxals carried out a deadly attack in the Sukma district of Chhattisgarh that killed 25 CRPF men and their weapons were “looted.”

Besides the ‘rambo arrow’, the report said the Naxals have also developed improvised mortars and rockets.

“In the rockets, a conical nose filled with explosives is welded into the tail-section which is filled with low-explosive propellant fuel and the funnel shaped nozzle on the tail produces thrust and fins loosely screwed to the tail provide stability to the rockets in flight…,” it said.

Once the rocket strikes, an explosion takes place and creates a boom impact, the report said, describing the newly acquired weapons.

An another category of such projectiles are incendiary and exploding projectiles that are now being used by the Naxals to launch attacks on the security forces camps.

“Maoists have recently adopted very lethal and contrived patterns to attack the camps of the security forces by the use of improvised rockets which has certainly increased the depth of their artillery,” the report shared with central paramilitary forces and intelligence agencies deployed in the LWE grid said.

Such weapons have been used to attack the forces’ camps in Chhattisgarh’s Narayanpur, Bijapur and Kondagaon districts between May 2015 and February 2017.

While the rockets blasts emitting fatal injury inflicting iron rings, the incendiary variant burns tents and other items in the camp by using a combination of sulphuric acid and sugar chlorate.

“Improvised mortar shells and arrow heads have been used on the troops in recent ambushes to increase the impact of their penetration with an element of creating panic amongst the troops.

“Although these projectiles or bombs had not caused any major casualties but it proves that their (Naxal’s) armoury strength has been getting better day by day and they have started to develop their own arsenal factories for the production of projectiles, improvised mortar shells and rockets among others,” the report said.

The report added that it was “a matter of great concern that the Maoists have started using arrow bombs” in the ambushes as these types of indigenous and fatal projectiles are not easy to counter and would increase the ferocity of ambush.

On inspecting few of the unexploded arrows, it has been found that Maoists have “used low explosive and aluminium powder in the arrows which on hitting in the proximity of the living being can cause grievous hurt and could also lead to casualty, if hit on vital parts.”

The report concludes that these new trends show that the Naxals have had an “advancement of their technical expertise in the field of switches, mechanism for IEDs and projectiles.”

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