Chhattisgarh lawmakers arrested on way to Dantewada village

March 30th, 2011 - 12:40 am ICT by IANS  

Raipur, March 29 (IANS) Chhattisgarh Police Tuesday arrested 10 legislators of the main opposition Congress party while they were on their way to a village where security forces allegedly went on a rampage against tribals. They were later released.

The Congress lawmakers were held at Pollampalli area in Dantewada district, over 500 km south from here, when they insisted to visit Tarmetla and two other tribal hamlets.

The villagers there have alleged that the state police and paramilitary forces had burnt down over 200 houses, killed some people and raped women between March 11-16.

The state government claimed that the attack was launched by Maoists and not the police.

“We were forcibly stopped and arrested by police in Dantewada,” former state home minister Nandkumar Patel, who was one of the 10 members of the delegation, told IANS over phone.

The Congress legislators were released later.

Patel added that they were attempting to visit the site as the Congress party had asked them to make an on-the-spot visit of the area and file a report.

Ankit Garg, the newly-appointed superintendent of police of Dantewada district, said “the arrest was a part of a preventive measure and they were released later.”

Social activist Swami Agnivesh was attacked in Dornapal March 26 by a crowd drawn from the state police and cadres of Salwa Judum, a civil militia movement launched with the state government support in June 2005 to fight out Maoists.

Agnivesh was pulled out of his car and manhandled. The crowd threw eggs at him and forced him to return without visiting the villages.

The outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist has pasted leaflets at several places in Dantewada’s forested areas Tuesday in which it vowed to carry out attacks on police as a revenge for the Tarmetla brutalities.

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