Two cops among nine killed in Chhattisgarh Maoist violence (Lead)

April 12th, 2009 - 10:07 pm ICT by IANS  

Raipur, April 12 (IANS) Six armed Maoist militants, two policemen and a civilian were killed Sunday in separate incidents in Chhattisgarh’s southern restive Bastar region.
“Insurgents ambushed a joint road-opening party of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and local police who were on foot in a forested stretch of Bijapur district between Bhopalpattanam-Mander,” Pawan Deo, deputy inspector general at the police headquarters here, told IANS.

A CRPF constable and a policeman besides a tribal civilian were killed in the ambush, some 500 km south of capital Raipur, he added.

Deo said a joint team of CRPF and local police shot dead three armed Maoists at a thickly forested hamlet named Sarandi in Kanker district in an hour-long gun battle with a group of some 40 rebels. The site of the shoot-out was about 280 km south of capital Raipur.

In another fierce encounter at an iron ore-rich hilly belt in Dantewada district, about 400 km from here, local police gunned down three Maoist guerillas.

The Maoists have called for a boycott of the polls in the state and announced they would chop off hands of those who cast votes in their stronghold Bastar region spread out over 40,000 sq km. It covers five districts- Dantewada, Bijapur, Narayanpur, Kanker and Bastar.

Chhattisgarh goes to polls for its all 11 Lok Sabha seats in the first phase, April 16.

The rebels had ambushed a CRPF patrolling party April 10 in Dantewada district, in which nine troopers and a deputy commandant rank officer were killed.

Chhattisgarh is one of the worst Maoist-hit state where police say about 1,000 people were killed so far mainly in mineral rich Bastar since year 2005 in Maoist violence.

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