Activists of anti-naxalite campaign targeted in Chhattisgarh
BHADRACHALAM: Twenty-five persons were killed and several injured in a landmine blast at Erraboru village in Chhattisgarh on Tuesday.
Five persons, who were seriously injured, were shifted from the community hospital here to the district headquarters hospital in Khammam.
The blast was triggered by Maoists when a lorry carrying some civilians and activists of `Salva Judum' an anti-naxalite campaign, was passing the village (close to the border with Andhra Pradesh) in Dantewade district of Chhattisgarh around 10.30 a.m.
The lorry was carrying about 70 persons all mobilised from Palliguda village in Kunta Taluk for a `Salva Judum' rally. Most of them were tribal youths and were shouting anti-naxalite slogans when the blast took place.
Maoists torched four lorries near Erraboru after the blast. They also attacked the `Salva Judum' activists with knives and swords. Tension gripped the villages along the border and police stepped up combing operations on either side of the border.
Chattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh, Home Minister Ramvichar Netam, Director-General of Police, Erraboru, Rathod and Leader of the Opposition Mahendra Karma visited Kunta taluk and took stock of the situation. Mr. Singh announced an ex-gratia of Rs. 2 lakh each to the families of the victims.
Senior police officials from the State, including IG M.N. Ansari and Dathewada Superintendent of Police Praveen Das visited the injured in the hospital along with Khammam Superintendent of Police Rajeev Kumar Meena and DIG (Warangal range) B.L. Meena.
Thousands of tribal youths from the remote villages of south Bastar had taken part in a rally in Kunta recently.