The outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoist) damaged a railway track near Kamalur station in Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh on Thursday, leading to the derailment of a goods train engine. The driver and helper of the engine suffered minor injuries in the accident. The Maoists have called for a ‘Dandakaranya Bandh’ on Friday in protest against the Polavaram Dam project and the “All-out war” by the Government of India to “flush out Maoists from Bastar.” “The Polavaram Dam project will displace 2.5 lakh Dorla Tribals from different parts of Bastar and Telangana. To oppose this project, our Central Regional Bureau has called for Dandakaranya Bandh on February 20. We appeal to the people of Telangana, Orrisa and Dandakaranya to observe strict bandh on February 20,” said Ganesh Uike, Secretary of the South Regional Committee (SRC) of the CPI (Maoist) in a statement sent to The Hindu.
In an effort to enforce the bandh, the ultras damaged the railway track. Accusing the State police and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) of “oppressing and harassing” the Tribals of Bastar in the name of “anti-Maoist operations,” the Maoist leader also claimed that the police arrested three “workers” of the CPI(Maoist) on February 5 from Kotrapal village in Bijapur district. “Mallesh, Podyami Sukhram and Madavi Lachhu were picked up by police from their homes. All three are being tortured inhumanly in police custody and are being forced to join police as ‘Gopniya Sainik’ (secret agents). We demand that all three be produced before the court immediately,” the SRC secretary said.
The Maoist leader also accused the police of arresting two villagers from Bodali village in Bijapur and not disclosing it to the media. “Police and CRPF are going on rampage in many Bijapur villages. People from interior villages are scared to go to market places because common villagers are being arrested as ‘Warrantee Maoists’ and are being forced to surrender,” Ganesh Uike said while expressing solidarity with the teachers, laborers and Anganwadi workers of Chhattisgarh.
STF jawan killed in naxal encounter in Chhattisgarh
Raipur: A Special Task Force jawan was killedin an encounter between security forces and naxalsin Chhattisgarh’s insurgency-hit Dantewada district on Thursday. The face-off between a joint team of security personnel and maoists took place in Dudhiras village under Gadiras police station limits, Dantewada Superintendent of Police, Kamlochan Kashyap said. A contingent ofSTF and district force was mobilised from Gadrias in the interiors forests, located around 400 km away from here. When they reached Dudhiras forests, after cordoning off some 18 km, a group of armed cadres opened indiscriminate firing on them leaving a jawan dead, the SP said.