Three students from Pune, who were on a bicycle rally to spread the message of peace, were allegedly abducted by Maoists in the insurgency-hit Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh, police said on Sunday.
“They were reported missing from forested pocket of Basaguda region of Bijapur bordering Maharashtra. Kutru is said to be the last place where they were seen by locals a few days back,” SRP Kalluri, inspector general of police (Bastar Range), said.
Initial reports said the abducted youth were identified as Adarsh Patil, Vilas Walke and Shrikrishna Shewale.
They had launched a cycle rally under their “Bharat Jodo (Link India)” campaign to propagate the message of peace in Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Odisha, three states affected by the Maoist movement over the past three decades, he said.
They had started their journey from Pune on December 20, and planned to conclude it at Balamela in Odisha on January 10 after passing through several places in Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh.
“Though we have yet to receive any concrete or specific information about their abduction, we have mobilised security forces in the region to trace their location,” he said.
Local intelligence is in constant touch with the relatives of the youths to get any clue about them, the IG added.
No claims through pamphlets or posters have so ar been made by Maoists regarding the abduction, he said.