Maoists torch only bus connecting nearly 50 remote villages in Bastar
The only bus service between Dornapal town and Jagargonda village in Bastar region of Chhattisgarh was reintroduced in May 2017 after 12 years, and was run by a private operator.india Updated: Jan 14, 2018 20:11 IST
A group of Maoists torched the only bus connecting several remote locations in Sukma district of Chhattisgarh, cutting off the travel and trade lifeline of nearly 50 villages in south Bastar, police said on Sunday.
The bus service in the region affected by left-wing extremism was reintroduced in May last year after 12 years, much to the relief of hundreds of villagers.
A private bus operator provided the daily service between Dornapal town and Jagargonda village with state patronage.
- They have to carry Aadhaar cards all the time as a proof of their identity
- At places, passengers need to disembark and go through a thorough frisking
- Cautioned against stepping away from the road to answer nature’s call
“About a dozen Maoists stopped the bus between Chintagufa and Burkapal around 5.30pm on Friday, forced the passengers and the driver get out, and set it on fire,” said a Sukma police officer who did not want to be named. “There were 40 to 45 passengers on the bus.”
The bus route cuts through the Maoist heartland, where security forces have been battling the insurgents in an unending cycle of violence. In April last year, Maoists killed 25 CRPF troopers in an ambush at Burkapal, which is on the bus route.
Sukma’s superintendent of police Abhishek Meena said, “Security forces never used the bus, only locals did. There was no reason to target the bus”, adding that the Maoists were frustrated after suffering extensive losses in recent encounters with security forces.