A week after they blew up an ambulance killing five innocent civilians in Kandhamal district of Orissa, Maoists have admitted that it was a big blunder on their part.
In a message to local newspapers offices in the district on Friday night, Communist Party of India (Maoist)'s Orissa state organisational committee secretary Sunil (Sabyasashi Panda) has sought an apology from the families of those killed and people in general for "unintentionally killing innocent civilians" and said such mistake would not be repeated in future.
On November 27, the Maoists blew up the ambulance near Brahmanigaon in the district, about 400 km southwest of Bhubaneswar, killing all the five people in the vehicle on the spot. Those who died included a woman health worker (asha karmi), a three-year-old girl and the driver of the vehicle. They were returning to their village after admitting a pregnant woman to a hospital in neighbouring Ganjam district.
Sunil, in his statement, said that the Peoples' Liberation Guerilla Army (PLGA) of CPI (Maoist) had taken up an ambush to blow up a police party. But the police used the ambulance carrying the civilians as a protection.
"This could not be properly ascertained by our scouts. In the process, instead of the policemen sadly innocent civilians became martyrs," Sunil said.
On May 17, 36 persons including 12 special police officers (ad hoc SPOs) were killed in Dantewada, Chhatisgarh, when Maoist blew up a bus by triggering a landmine. CPI (Maoist) apologised later saying its members were under the impression that the bus was carrying only police persons.