Five people including a CISF jawan were killed after Naxals blew up a bus using an improvised explosive device (IED) near Bacheli in poll-bound Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada district as the state prepares to go for the first phase of elections on November 12.
Four civilians were among those killed in the blast.
Two CISF personnel were also injured in the blast triggered by Naxals and have been shifted to a hospital.
Earlier on Tuesday, Naxals torched a bus after asking its passengers to get down in the state’s Bijapur district. No passengers were injured in the incident, police said.
The private bus was on its way to Usoor from Bijapur town when eight Naxals, some of them armed, stopped it near Usoor, around 450 km from Raipur. There were some 35 passengers on the bus. The Naxals asked them to get down and then set it on fire, he said.
In another incident in Bijapur district, a 52-year-old man, abducted by Naxals three days ago, was found killed, the official said. Aaytu Hemla and another person had been abducted on November 3 from village Baddepara in Gangaloor area, he said.
Hemla’s body was found in the forest near his village Tuesday while the other man was reportedly released, he said.
As per the preliminary information, Naxals had accused Hemla of being a police informer. He was found strangulated.
October 30, Naxals had attacked the Doordarshan TV crew during an election coverage in which Doordarshan cameraperson Achyutananda Sahu was killed. Three security personnel were also killed in the attack.
Last month, at least four jawans of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) were killed after Naxals blew up a bunker vehicle in Chhattisgarh’s strife-torn Bijapur district.
In a “huge achievement” as termed by the government, 62 “hardcore Naxals” surrendered before security forces in Chhattisgarh on Tuesday. Of the 62 Naxals, 55 surrendered with their arms and ammunition in Narayanpur district.
The ultras have called upon voters to boycott the assembly polls, scheduled to be held in two phases next month.
Security forces have been finding Maoist posters and banners appealing for poll boycott almost every day in south Bastar.
The first phase of polls will be held on November 12 covering 18 constituencies across eight Naxal-affected districts namely Bastar, Kanker Sukma, Bijapur, Dantewada, Narayanpur, Kondagaon and Rajnandgaon. The remaining 72 constituencies will go to polls on November 20.
The counting of votes will be taken up on December 11.