Maoist guerrillas on Sunday slit the throats of six civilians, including a village head, in Chhattisgarh's Rajnandgaon district, while two rebels were killed in a gunfight with the police in Dantewada district, officials said.
The bodies of the six people were found dumped in a forested area of Manpur locality in Uchapur village in Rajnandgaon, about 175 km from here, by villagers in the morning, Chhattisgarh Director General of Police Vishwa Ranjan told IANS.
The victims included a village sarpanch (head), Bhilsai Mandwai (36), who was abducted early this week along with five others by armed Maoists on charges of spying for the police. All the bodies were found with their throats slit.
The latest terrorist act of the Maoists targeting civilians has created panic among the residents of Rajnandgaon that borders Maharashtra's Gadchiroli district.
Police and paramilitary forces deployed in the district for anti-Maoist operations were yet to reach the site in a thickly forested pocket between Uchapur-Taregaon locality as they suspect that guerrillas might be waiting with a booby trap to ambush security personnel.
"We are being cautious while trying to reach the site, which is close to the border with Maharashtra. Maoists had lured a police convoy to a booby trap in the same area July last year in which 29 policemen, including district superintendent of police B.K. Choubey, were killed," a senior police official here told IANS.
In a separate incident, police killed two guerrillas in a gunfight in Dantewada's Kirandul area, said District Superintendent of Police Amresh Mishra.
Police recovered two 12-bore guns, a few tiffin bombs and posters against public sector National Minerals Development Corporation (NMDC) Ltd, which has massive iron ore mining facilities at Bailadila hills of Kirandul and Bacheli areas.
Chhattisgarh has witnessed a spurt in Maoist violence in recent months with the rebels carrying out the biggest ever attack April 6 in Dantewada district when guerrillas massacred 76 security personnel. This was followed by another attack May 8 in Bijapur district in which eight Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troopers were killed when their vehicle was blown up by the rebels.