Jagdalpur/Raipur, Apr 18 (UNI) Armed naxalites today besieged Usur village in Dantewada district of the tribal Bastar region posing a big challenge to former Director General of Punjab Police K P S Gill, who took over as the security advisor to the Chhattisgarh government early in the day.
More than 2500 armed rebels besieged the village, having a population of about 3000, since morning in retaliation for the tribals' support to the ongoing anti-naxalite campaign 'Salwa Judum'. The Maoists, who had given a call for bandh, also beat up few 'Salwa Judum' supporters in the region.
The naxalites had also called a 'Chhattisgarh bandh' for today which evoked a partial response in South Bastar area, police said.
CPI (Maoist) gave a bandh call to protest the government's alleged failure to solve people's problems and ''fake encounter killings'' of naxalite zonal commander Sagar alias Gupa Korwas and his wife Kiran in Sarguja district. Few shops in Bijapur were closed in response to the bandh call, police said.
Mr Gill, who arrived here this morning to take up the new assignment as security advisor, went into an emergency meeting with state Chief Minister Raman Singh and senior officials in the light of the Maoist action in Usur village, located close to the Andhra Pradesh border.
As the naxalites outnumbered security forces in the region, a spokesman of the state police headquarters said the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and Chhattisgarh Special Armed Force (CGSAF) were being sent to the village from Amapalli area.
However, security personnel have been asked to avoid travelling by road and cover the area on foot as it is feared the extremists may have planted landmines on the approach road.
The spokesman said the high level meeting was also considering to press helicoptors into service to airlift security personnel to Usur village to rescue the beleagured villagers.
Besides the Chief Minister, Home Minister Ram Vichar Netam and Mr Gill, senior civil and police officials are attending the high level meeting.
Official reports received here said apprehending major strike by the ultras, the Andhra Pradesh government has been alerted.
UNI TEAM PA HT1825