Sunday, August 21, 2005

Naxals set ablaze state transport bus in Maharashtra

Monday August 22 2005 00:00 IST

PTI

MUMBAI: About 25 armed Naxalites on Sunday set afire a Maharashtra State Transport Corporation bus near Kosmi village in Gadchiroli district after forcing the 20-odd passengers to alight, a senior police official said.

No one has been injured in the incident, Gadchiroli superintendent of police Shirish Jain said.

The Naxals, who were wearing uniforms, stopped the bus between the Gyarapatti police station and Murum and forced the passengers to alight along with baggage, Jain said. The passengers did so and left the scene, after which the Naxals set the bus on fire.

“Over 70 percent of the bus has been damaged,'' Jain said. The bus driver, Mohmmad Shaikh, informed Gyarapatti police, after which a police team was despatched to the spot, he added.

Asked if any Naxal group had claimed responsibility for the incident, Jain said, “No claim has come so far but we have recovered posters by CPI(Maoists) from the spot, condemning last month's encounter in the region.''

So far, none of the passengers have come forward to identify the attackers, he said. “It looks very much likely that the attack was the handiwork of either the Kurkheda or Teepgarh group,'' Jain added.

The spot where the incident took place was close to the Chhattisgarh border, Jain said adding, buses plying on the route would be given adequate police protection.

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