Suspected Maoists trigger blast on NH-221

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Bastar, July 5 (ANI): In yet another incident of creating fear in public mind, suspected Maoists triggered a blast on the National Highway (NH-221) on Sunday leading to disruption of vehicular traffic in Darbha region of Chhattisgarh's Bastar district.

The landmine blast was reportedly carried out by activists of the banned People's War Group, a Maoist organisation.

Nobody was injured in the blast.

"Yesterday between 5 to 5.15 p.m. in Jirham Ghati, around eight kilometres from here, Darbha station, some member of a banned Naxal organisation People's War Group in a bid to disrupt traffic, triggered a landmine blast near the culvert. Nothing happened to the bridge but the adjacent national highway-221 is damaged.Due to the blast a pit of five to six feet has come up on the road," said R P Dhruv, Station Officer of Darbha.

The incident has made the lorry drivers a harried lot due to the disruption of the traffic.

"We drive the trucks and we have come from Bhilai (the steel plant city in Chattisgarh). On the way we got to know that a culvert has collapsed due to blast. So I took a motorcycle from someone and came here and saw it by myself. There is a very huge crater. This is a painful incident and some measures should be taken to stop such incidents," said Dilbagh Singh, a truck driver from Bhilai.

The National Highway (NH-221) connects Chhattisgarh to Andhra Pradesh.

There has been a rise in Maoist attacks this year, especially after the government launched a coordinated security offensive to flush out the rebels from their jungle hideouts in central and eastern States of the country.

In two major incidents earlier in April, the Maoists killed 76 police in an ambush and another 35 in an attack on a bus that was carrying paramilitary troops along with the civilians.

On their part, the Maoists claim that they are crusading for the cause of the poor, marginal farmers and landless labourers.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has called the Maoists India's gravest internal security threat. (ANI)

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