Maoist rebels kill 13 in blasts in Indian state
(Reuters) – Suspected Maoist rebels set off two bombs in the eastern Indian state of Chhattisgarh on Saturday, killing 13 people, most of them paramilitary soldiers and officials charged with holding elections in the region. The attacks, half an hour apart, were the most serious since voting to elect a new federal government began last week in a six-week process to allow security forces to move across the country.
The first explosion took place in a bus in Bijapur carrying election officials who were on their way back after completing the vote. Seven people were killed. A second bomb hit an ambulance in the thickly forested Bastar region killing five members of the Central Reserve Police Force and their driver, said R.K.Vij, the head of anti-Maoist operations. It was not clear why the soldiers were travelling in the ambulance, but in the past government officials are known to be have used such vehicles to avoid attacks by the Maoists.
CRPF jawans fight ‘invisible enemy’ in Maoist zone
LATEHAR/PALAMU: Jharkhand is a critical place as the fight is against an invisible enemy, feel CRPF personnel posted in the state that often sees Maoist violence. CRPF personnel deployed in Latehar and Palamu, which fall in the Red zone in the state, say Maoists can launch an attack anytime and from any direction. Deputy commandant (CRPF) B B Bhakta, who posted in Laat village under Maoist-dominated Burwadih block of Latehar, said guerrilla warfare is a different ballgame.
“When the enemy is invisible, level of alertness should remain high all the time,” he said. After successfully tackling a Maoist attack on a poll booth in Laat on Thursday, Bhakta said the security personnel have to avoid paths through forests because of landmines. “We keep changing our plan and briefs every now and then so that even if some information leaks the possibility of being trapped decreases,” he said.
Jharkhand on alert as police fear Maoist attacks
Ranchi: Jharkhand is on high alert in light of the Lok Sabha polls as police believe security forces in the state could come under Maoist attacks, an official said on Saturday. “Advisories have been issued to state police to stay alert as Maoist guerrillas could target trains carrying security forces,” a police official told IANS.
“Maoist guerrillas are upset as the first phase of the polls in Jharkhand was peaceful,” the official added. In the first phase April 10, polling took place for four seats where Maoists have a strong presence. The second phase polling on April 17 is also in Maoist affected areas. The official said the Maoists are desperate to execute a big attack on the security forces. “The road and railway routes are vulnerable as both pass through jungle areas,” the official added.
A day after elections, villagers in Bastar allege CRPF harassment
RAIPUR: A day after polling in Bastar constituency, tribals in remote Pandum village in Sukma district in Chhattisgarh have alleged that paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) had detained and beaten them up on Thursday night. Villagers complained to authorities that CRPF men had detained their children as well, at Pandum, accusing them of being Maoist supporters. The issue came to light after a strong contingent of security forces reached Pandum where a polling party was asked to stay back during night because of security reasons.Despite the complaint, CRPF is yet to clear its stand. Senior CRPF officials could not be reached for their comments.
Odisha: Four booths register zero polling in Malkangiri
Despite Election Commission having introduced ‘none of the above’ (NOTA) option, four polling booths of the Malkangiri district registered zero polling, during the first phase of election on Thursday, Election Control Room Sources said. The booth where there was no polling includes, Booth No-15(Sarangpalli) Booth No-34(Kulabeda), Booth No-235(Suapalli) in Chitrakonda assembly constituency and Booth No-140(Siakota) in Malkangiri assembly constituency. Notably, in Silakota village, thirteen Maoists were killed in an encounter between the police and rebels on September 15 last year. People preferred not to vote in these areas following the Maoist poll boycott threat.