Saturday, November 27, 2010

3 civilians dead as Naxals blast 'police vehicle'

TNN, Nov 26, 2010, 03.28am IST

CHINTAPALLI (VISAKHAPATNAM): Three civilians were killed when Maoists blasted a van in Chintapalli mandal in Vizag Agency, assuming it to be a police vehicle. Though the incident happened on Tuesday night, it came to light only on Thursday after some villagers ventured into Rallagedda hamlet on Balapam-Korukonda road where the rebels triggered a landmine.

The three civilians were heading to Korukonda in a 407 (usually associated with police vehicles) van to get ganja when the Maoists triggered the landmine blast, sources aid.

Though the villagers heard a deafening sound late on Tuesday night, no one dared to venture out into the heavily mined area. The deceased were identified as Deva Nookaraju of Ravanapalli of Golgonda mandal, Hassi of Narsipatnam and Nagaraju.

Sources said the Maoists in fact planned to blast Annavaram police station to send a warning signal to the cops combing the heavily Maoist-infested area. The impact of the blast was such that 10-ft crater was formed, while the bodies were flung to a corner, 200 metres away. Plastic bags, a pair of slippers and blood-stained clothes were found at the blast site, which is 40 km from Chintapalli.

District committee member Chedda Bhushanam alias Khatro, key leader Santosh and five other leaders from Chhattisgarh were present on a hillock where they had assembled to discuss preparations for PLGA fete when the blast took place, the sources said. Sources said top Maoist leaders could be camping there ahead of the Dec. 2 PLGA week celebrations and hence, the cadres must have planted the landmines. "It is because of this worry the cops did not visit the blast site till Thursday evening," a source said. Police said the rebels might have blasted the van in a case of mistaken identity.

The police department normally uses vans bearing 407 registration number to transport security personnel for combing operations. "But the private van had East Godavari registration number," a source averred. It may be recalled the Korukonda committee has been active in the area for the past few months and killed seven tribals, suspecting them to be police informers.

Meanwhile, security in all police stations in the Agency has been beefed up. Apart from deploying combing parties in big numbers, the police are planning to take up joint operations with Orissa cops. "Some choppers are likely to pressed into service to carry out aerial patrolling," a source said.

Read more: 3 civilians dead as Naxals blast 'police vehicle' - The Times of India

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