Naxals torched a bus after asking passengers to alight in Chhattisgarh’s Narayanpur district while seven rebels were arrested today following a face-off with police in a nearby area, an official said today. When the private bus was on its way to Orchha from Narayanpur, a group of Naxals, some of them armed, stopped the vehicle last night near Jhorigaon village, located about 300 kms from the state capital, Superintendent of Police, Santosh Singh told PTI. The rebels asked the passengers to de-board and then set the bus ablaze, he said. The exact number of passengers is not known but all of them are reported safe, the SP said. Security personnel rushed to the spot soon after receiving an alert. A combing operation has been launched in the region to nab the attackers, he said.
According to Singh, the Naxals are frustrated with the road construction work in the region, and therefore are committing such acts. “The ultras have been opposing road construction from Narayanpur to Orchha in Abujhmaad – considered as a Maoist den,” Singh said. “Despite their disruption, construction has been completed in around 45-km patch of the total 66 kms, under security cover of the Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and district force,” he said. The construction of the remaining portion is underway, the SP said. In another incident, seven Naxals, including three women, were today arrested in another nearby village in Narayanpur.
They were nabbed after an exchange of fire between the ultras and security personnel near Tekanar village in early hours of Sunday on suspicion that they were involved in the skirmish, Singh told PTI. He claimed that during interrogation, the rebels admitted to their involvement in several other incidents, including arson, following which they were arrested today. A team of security personnel was out on an anti-Maoist operation in the forest between Dhanora and Orchha villages of the district on Saturday night when the Maoists started firing on them near Tekanar village, leading to a gun-battle between the two sides, he said. However, the Naxals soon escaped from the spot.
Later seven suspects, including three women, were held from the spot for questioning, the SP said. “During interrogation, they admitted to their association with the outlawed CPI (Maoist),” Singh claimed. “One of them had surrendered in the past before police but later rejoined the banned outfit,” he said. The SP also claimed that interrogation of the Naxals led to revelation of crucial details about their functioning in Dhanora and Orchha areas, located around 300 kms from Raipur.