In their first major strike after state elections were announced, Naxalites killed two persons, including a BJP office bearer close to Bade Gudra village of Dantewada district on Sunday morning.
“Ramesh Rathod, a district vice-president of the BJP, and Surya Pal Chouhan, a BJP worker, were traveling by car on their campaign trail when they were stopped,” Dantewada superintendent of police Rahul Sharma said. “The car was burnt. The two men’s hacked bodies were found some distance away.”
The Naxalites have called upon voters to boycott the bourgeois electoral process.
Police sources added that Rathod and Chouhan had been pursued by the Naxals ever since they left the house of another BJP activist, Mahadev, in Bade Gudra village, whose house they had gone to for a meeting.
The police have launched a search and further tightened security.
The Raman Singh government has admitted that Naxalites are active in 12 of the state’s 18 districts but officials privately acknowledge that some places in Raipur, the state capital, and Durg have also witnessed Naxalite activities on a smaller scale.
The Naxalites are particularly influential in the backward Bastar region and had called upon the tribal populace to boycott the 2003 elections.