Maoist guerrillas abducted five troopers of the Chhattisgarh Armed Force (CAF) on Tuesday from a passenger bus in Narayanpur district.
This is the first major abduction of policemen by the Maoists after the red brigade kidnapped eight security men in south Bastar in September last year. Four of them were killed and the rest released.
On Tuesday, the rebels took the policemen hostage near Mehrabada, about 400 km south of Raipur. The Maoists have also taken a civilian, suspecting him to be a special police officer.
District superintendent of police Mayank Shrivastava said three head constables and two constables of the CAF were going to Narayanpur town by bus.
"The abducted police personnel ignored the clear instruction of avoiding travel in public buses in the region, whether they are on duty or on leave," Shrivastava said.
This warning was given after three strikes, including one on a bus, by Maoists in Chhattisgarh in April and May last year.
Police suspect the Maoists might have got information about the movement of the policemen after they left the base camp. Since they were on leave, they had no arms.