Maoists torch Chhattisgarh rest-house

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New Delhi, Dec. 6 (ANI): Suspected Maoist rebels torched a forest rest house in Dhamtari district of Chhattisgarh on Saturday.

The attackers, who were around 300 in number, set the furniture and furnishings of the rest house on fire at Khallari village in the wee hours of Saturday after threatening the guard.

The building was damaged and pamphlets stuck on the trees, saying that the attack was in retaliation against the illegal and undeclared detention of certain people by the police.

"They (attackers) threatened and asked me to leave the place at once. They brandished weapons and three of them took me to my house. They said if I will tell anyone about the incident then they will kill me and my family," said Patiram, a guard of the forest rest house.

Police suspect the Maoists to be behind the incident.

"These are a part of Maoist acts and we are suspecting them behind this attack but nothing is certain till now. These activities are nothing but to create panic among the people," said Vijay Katre, Deputy Superintendent of Police of Dhamtari district.

Maoists have stepped up violence across eastern and central India.

Maoist violence, estimated to have caused 600 to 700 deaths annually and the displacement of 100,000 civilians, has spread to 182 of the country's 602 districts.

The insurgents have attacked schools and police stations, and used landmines and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) to disrupt infrastructure development projects.

They have also hijacked passenger trains including the prestigious super fast Rajdhani Express, beheaded policemen and suspected informers and attacked employees of mining companies.

Thousands have been killed during the Maoist insurgency, which began in the late 1960s, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has described the Maoist threat one of the gravest homegrown threats to India's internal security. (ANI)

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