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Naxalites abduct villagers after triggering blast

Written by: Staff

Dantewara, Chhattisgarh, Feb 28: Naxalites have abducted a large number of villagers after triggering a blast in which at least 50 people were feared killed at Darbhaguda on Sukma-Konta National Highway this morning (Feb 28, 2006).

Reports received at Jagdalpur, the divisional headquarters of Bastar, said the naxalites abducted scores of villagers and took them inside the forest soon after the blast.

Unofficial reports said about 125 villagers were abducted and taken to the forest.

These abducted people were among those who were returning on vehicles after attending a meeting of 'Salwa Judum'-- the ongoing people campaign against the naxalites at Dornapal yesterday.

Meanwhile, senior Congress leader and leader of Opposition in the Vidhan Sabha Mahendra Karma, who is among the forefront of anti-naxalite campaign, strongly condemned the Maoist attack on innocent tribals.

"There is a major security lapse. Security forces should have accompanied the villagers, who were returning after attending 'Salwa Judum' meeting", he said, adding that there was also a shortage of security forces in Bastar, where naxalites had stepped up violence.

Former Chief Minister Ajit Jogi demanded a stop to the 'Salwa Judum' movement saying that a large number of innocent people have fallen prey to the violence ever since the movement started nearly nine months ago.

"(I) am not against the movement against naxalites. But, the people who are participating in the campaign against naxalites are not getting security", he said, adding that security forces were using the local tribals as 'shields' in their war against naxalites.

Mr Jogi alleged that the BJP government, headed by Dr Raman Singh, held moral responsibility for the deaths of scores of tribals in today's blast which, he said, was the biggest incident ever since insurgency erupted in the region.


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