Monday, November 29, 1999

Six civilians, two Maoists killed in Chhattisgarh

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Raipur, May 16 (IANS) Maoist rebels Sunday slit the throats of six civilians, including a village head, in Chhattisgarh's Rajnandgaon district, while two guerrilas were killed in a gunfight with police in Dantewada district, officials said.The bodies of six people were found by villagers Sunday morning dumped in a forested area of Manpur locality in Uchapur village in Rajnandgaon, about 175 km from here, Chhattisgarh Director General of Police Vishwa Ranjan told IANS.The victims included a village sarpanch (head), Bhilsai Mandwai, 36, who was abducted early this week along with five others by Maoists on charges of spying for the police. All the bodies were found with their throats slit.The latest act of the Maoists targeting civilians has created panic among the residents of Rajnandgaon that borders Maharashtra's Gadchiroli district.Police and paramilitary forces deployed in the district for anti-Maoist operations avoided to reach the site in a thickly forested pocket between Uchapur-Taregaon locality as they suspect that guerrillas might be waiting with a booby trap to ambush security personnel.'The bodies of the civilians were brought to us by villagers on a tractor-trolley and we provided them all back-up rather than going to the site, which is close to the border with Maharashtra. Had we gone to site, we would have been ambushed by Maoists who had lured a police convoy to a booby trap in the same area July last year killing 29 policemen, including superintendent of police B.K. Choubey,' a senior official at the police headquarters here told IANS.Praveer Das, Rajnandgaon district superintendent of police, said: 'Few bodies were disfigured with their faces found smashed and crushed, the villagers were slaughtered for revolting against Maoists and also opposing their acts of violence.'In a separate incident, police killed two guerrillas in a gunfight in Dantewada's Kirandul area, said district Superintendent of Police Amresh Mishra.Police recovered two 12-bore guns, a few tiffin bombs and posters against public sector National Minerals Development Corporation (NMDC) Ltd, which has massive iron ore mining facilities at Bailadila hills of Kirandul and Bacheli areas.Chhattisgarh has witnessed a spurt in Maoist violence in recent months with the rebels carrying out the biggest ever attack April 6 in Dantewada district when guerrillas massacred 76 security personnel.This was followed by another attack May 8 in Bijapur district in which eight Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troopers were killed when their vehicle was blown up by the rebels.

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