[ Friday, March 24, 2006 11:01:26 amIANS ]
RAIPUR: Maoists in Bastar region of Chhattisgarh killed four tribals who were part of the Salwa Judum (Peace Mission), a government-backed campaign against the Leftist rebels.
"Rebels killed two Salwa Judum cadres by slitting their throats in Chhote Dongar village and dumped the bodies on a main road, triggering panic among the local Maria tribe," Sant Kumar Paswan, additional director general of police, said.
Paswan said police had recovered two other dead bodies of local Salwa Judum leaders early Friday from Bijapur locality, in violence-plagued Dantewada district, about 415 km south of Raipur.
"Besides the four killings, rebels blasted a high-power transmission centre in Bijapur on Thursday night that snapped power supply to 40 villages," Paswan said.
Police said rebels made an abortive bid around midnight at forested Bhairamgarh area to ambush a CRPF vehicle carrying 22 troopers.
Forest and mineral rich Bastar region, about 300 km south of here, comprises three districts – Kanker, Bastar and Dantewada, all of which are Maoist dominated.
Last year in June, the government launched the Salwa Judum campaign by recruiting local villagers in Maoist dominated districts to counter the rebels.
Maoists have strong presence in eight of Chhattisgarh’s 16 districts.
Officials say that over 86 people have been killed in Maoist violence in the state since January 1, mostly in Dantewada district bordering the southern state of Andhra Pradesh.
The rebels operate out of jungle bases in nine Indian states, mainly in the southern and eastern parts of country.