Raipur, Apr 19 (UNI) Ending a five-hour-long besiege, naxalites have evacuated Usur village in Chhattisgarh's Dantewada district adjoining Andhra Pradesh even as the police from outside did not reach to rescue the villagers.
Home Minister Ram Vichar Netam said he did not consider police not reaching the village after naxals surrounded the village, with 3,000-strong population, yesterday as a serious lapse, as policemen were ''also human being and life was equally dear to them''.
''Naxals have evacuated the village. It does not matter whether police reached there or not,'' he told UNI.
Meanwhile, Additional Director General of Police S K Paswan claimed that the ultras evacuated the village due to police pressure.
The naxals left the villager after warning the residents not to take part in the 'Salwa Judum' campaign.
Police in Usur police station were helpless, as around 2,500 ultras surrounded the village.
Senior police officials remained busy in welcoming newly-appointed security advisor K P S Gill. The administrative machinery sprang into action only after Chief Minister Raman Singh came to know about the besiege.
Dr Singh suggested various possibilities of rescuing the villagers including engaging helicopters.
Senior Police officers preferred to remain in the state capital despite the seriousness of the incident.
The naxal act is being viewed as an open challenge to Mr Gill, who assumed charge as Security Advisor to the state government to combat naxal menace yesterday.
UNI AS-PS VJ HS1252