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Armed naxals attack Chhattisgarh village, shoot 4

By Super

Jagdalpur (Chhattisgarh), Mar 06: Stepping up violence in tribal areas, several hundred armed naxals stormed a village last night (Mar 06, 2006), slaying four persons, seriously injuring ten and abducting five persons at Basaguda, about 230 km from here, in Dantewada district, police said.

CPI(Maoist) cadres, numbering nearly 4,000, cordoned off the village and opened indiscriminate fire to terrorise villagers who have been participating in 'Salwa Judum', an anti-naxal campaign launched by tribals.

A fierce encounter continued for a few hours as security personnel present around Basaguda retaliated. Later, the rebels retreated into the forests.

All the injured were rushed to a hospital at Bijapur, about 30 km from Basaguda.

IG (Bastar Range) M W Ansari and other officers have rushed to the village while additional security personnel have been rushed there to undertake an intensive combing operation in the area.

Stung by 'Salwa Judum', the movement against the three-decade-old problem of naxal violence, the extremists have stepped up violence in South Bastar region over the last few months.

Naxals triggered a major landmine blast on February 28, killing 27 persons and maiming 40 villagers at Darbhaguda village while they were returning from a 'Salwa Judum' meeting at Dornapal. Ultras also blasted a diesel locomotive and the Basi railway station yesterday. The naxals left pamphlets at the station, threatening to intensify violence if 'Salwa Judum' was not halted forthwith.

All political parties, including the ruling BJP and the opposition Congress, extended their support to 'Salwa Judum', describing it as a spontaneous movement aimed at motivating misguided youth to return to the national mainstream.

However, the insurgents perceive it as a state-sponsored movement to push villagers forward against naxals so as to divert attention from ''real issues'' confronting the tribal community.



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