Naxals torch buses, trucks in Chhattisgarh; ex-cop killed
Raipur: Naxals torched three buses and as many trucks after directing their occupants to alight from the vehicles in Chhattisgarh's Sukma district late last night, a police official said on Tuesday.
A former police constable, who was among the bus passengers, was shot dead by the ultras, he said.
The private buses were heading towards Telangana via Sukma from different locations. The Naxals set them blaze near Peddakudthi and Penta villages between 10 pm and 11 pm, Deputy Inspector General of Police (south Bastar range) Sundarraj P said.
Four vehicles were torched at one spot and two others set ablaze barely 300 metres from there. The armed ultras stopped the buses and asked the passengers to get down, following which they set the vehicles ablaze, he said.
One of the buses was going to Hyderabad from Jagdalpur, the headquarter of Bastar district, another from Dantewada towards Hyderabad and the third was on its maiden run from Malkangiri in Odisha to Hyderabad, he said.
Former constable Munna Sodi, who was expelled from service, was shot dead by the rebels during the incident, the DIG said, adding, "He was most likely travelling in one of those buses from Sukma to his village Manikonta, which is ahead of Penta."
The Naxals also set three trucks on fire which were passing through the area, located around 500 km from here, the DIG said.
Upon getting information about the incident, a police team rushed to the spot
and the passengers were accommodated in other buses, he said.
According to the police, Maoists torched the vehicles in retaliation to the encounter on March 2 in Pujari Kanker area of Bijapur district, in which their 10 cadre were gunned down by the Greyhounds force of Telangana police.
The rebels also put up banners at the spot to protest the encounter.
Security forces have been asked to be extra cautious while going to the area, which is located on the extremely sensitive Sukma-Konta road, the police said.