Maoists kill villager, blast Chitrakot police post (Second Lead)

February 7th, 2011 - 10:14 pm ICT by IANS  

Raipur, Feb 7 (IANS) Maoists killed a civilian in Chhattisgarh and blew up an under-construction police outpost at the tourist location of Chitrakot in separate incidents Monday. They also blocked a national highway and disrupted life in the interiors of Bastar region to enforce a daylong shutdown.

Armed rebels swooped upon the village of Retegaon in Rajnandgaon district and killed a villager Chainuram with sharp-edged weapons.

The gruesome killing has spread terror in the tribal-dominated village that is home to some 35 families, B.N Meena, superintendent of police in Rajnandgaon, told IANS.

The first ever attack by Maoists at Chitrakot, some 340 km south from capital Raipur in Bastar district, created panic at the site known for its spectacular waterfall where the Indravati river takes a 100-foot plunge.

“Several armed rebels, mainly women insurgents, blew up an under-construction police outpost with explosives in the early hours. Two of the rooms were damaged heavily,” T.J. Longkumer, Bastar’s inspector general of police, told IANS.

He added that security forces have launched searches around the area. The outpost, in the final stages of construction, cost about Rs.2 million to build.

Maoists had left some leaflets at the blast site in which they have threatened to halt Tata Steel’s upcoming 5.5 million tonne capacity steel plant. The project site is hardly 3 km away from the demolished police outpost.

Maoists disrupted life in the interiors of their stronghold in 40,000 sq km Bastar region — that is made up of Narayanpur, Kanker, Bastar, Bijapur and Dantewada districts — placing heavy wooden logs across roads to block traffic.

The highway to Bijapur was blocked since early Monday morning by the rebels. Roads in Dantewada district were also deserted.

The iron ore shipment by NMDC, India’s largest iron ore producer and exporter in public sector, was hit by 15-20 percent at its Dantewada-based Bailadila mines as railways refused to provide rakes Sunday night, fearing rebel attacks.

Buses were also off the road in the interiors of Bastar, Rajnandgaon and in some pockets of Raipur, Dhamtari and Mahasamund districts.

The outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) called the shutdown in many states to protest the rising prices of essential commodities and corruption.

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