The naxals of CPI (Maoist) once again left a trail of violence, arson and destruction in Gondia district, bordering Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.
In neighbouring Gadchiroli, the hotbed of naxals in the region, in an audacious attempt to mock at the administration and security forces, the Maoists abducted three people, including a former zilla parishad member, a panchayat samiti member and a villager on Tuesday and burnt down timber worth over Rs 10 lakh of Forest Development Corporation of Maharashtra (FDCM) at Jimalgatta in south Gadchiroli. The naxalites also left behind a poster at Jimalgatta gram panchayat office appealing to the locals to observe bandh on Wednesday.
On late Tuesday night, a group of armed naxalites set afire a gram panchayat building and BSNL mobile transmission tower at Toyagondi village under Salekasa tahsil. The rebels pasted posters at the village listing their demands. The naxalites are observing bandh on May 16 and 17 in protest against a number of issues including deployment of army in civil areas, Operation Green Hunt, harassment of innocent people on the pretext of naxalites etc.
This was the second major naxal strike in Gondia district within a week. The red rebels killed a village sarpanch last week after branding him as a police informer.
"We have sent a police party at Toyagondi this morning after getting the news. The naxalites have set afire the panchayat bhavan and a mobile tower," informed Chandrakishore Meena, superintendent of police (SP), Gondia district. "A combing operation is on in the area after the incident," he said.
The Gadchiroli police informed that the Left-wing extremists also exchanged fire with police in Korchi in northern part of the district on Tuesday evening. The incident occurred in Maseli jungle under Korchi tahsil when a police party was patrolling the area.
The firing continued for about half an hour following which the outlaws fled the spot. Police recovered arms and ammunition from the spot. No one was injured in the exchange of fire, reports reaching here said. "We have been continuously conducting combing operation and increasing pressure on them," claimed Viresh Prabhu, the SP of Gadchiroli.
The naxalites abducted ex-sarpanch of Jimalgatta, Pulayya Veladi, the former ZP member and the senior NCP leader, Ramnayya Yadawar and the gram panchayat member, Vyankati Medhi. The reason behind the kidnapping is also not known. However, the police have not confirmed the report. "We have no information about these abductions," said Prabhu.