Naxals kill 26 tribals
IN A bloodcurdling retaliation, Naxalites today blew up three trucks, killing at least 26 tribals and injuring 40 others near village Darbhaguda on Sukma-Konta road at Andhra Pradesh border around 11.15 am. The site of explosion is around 140 km from the district headquarters. Scores of tribals, who were abducted after the blast, are still missing.india Updated: Mar 01, 2006 12:54 IST
IN A bloodcurdling retaliation, Naxalites today blew up three trucks, killing at least 26 tribals and injuring 40 others near village Darbhaguda on Sukma-Konta road at Andhra Pradesh border around 11.15 am. The site of explosion is around 140 km from the district headquarters. Scores of tribals, who were abducted after the blast, are still missing.
The red terrorists also set ablaze three other vehicles. Those who were travelling in these vehicles were abducted. The tribals were activists of Salva Judum, a movement launched in the region to counter Naxalite menace.
They were returning home after attending the four-day Salva-Judum meet at village Dornapal in south Bastar. The shocking massacre has come close on the heels of a series of deadly attacks carried out by the extremists in Chhattisgarh involving death of more than 24 security personnel including 9 from the Nagaland Armed Police.
According to police sources, the Naxalites after killing the activists, melted into the surround forests. Thirty-four seriously injured Salwa Judum activists were rushed to Bhadrachalam in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh for treatment.
Defence helicopters from New Delhi and Raipur were immediately rushed to the spot on combing operation. Chief Minister Dr Raman Singh, Home Minister Ram Vichar Netam, DGP O P Rathore and other senior officials also rushed to Bastar.
Infuriated over the heart-rending incident, about 4000 tribals have surrounded the Konta town where almost all the top police and administrative authorities are camping.
Patrolling by CRPF, SAF, Naga Force, and that of SPG commando has been intensified around the area in search of the outlaws and the abducted tribals. This is the first ever incident of massacre of civilians at such a large scale.
The Chhattisgarh government described the massacre as an ‘act of cowardice’. “We strongly condemn this attack. This is the outcome of the growing frustration among the Naxalites as they are being isolated following the success of Salwa Judum” Legislative Affairs Minister Ajay Chandrakar said in the Vidhan Sabha.It was learnt that a joint task force comprising squads from Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra has rushed to the spot to track down the Maoists.
The Naxals had also looted more than 20 tons of high-power explosives from a NMDC go down in south Bastar. Leader of the Opposition Mahendra Karma, one of the leaders spearheading the Salwa Judum movement, condemned the carnage and said that ‘even the worst sort of criminals would not resort to such a dastardly act’.