Maoists blast Chitrakot police post, disrupt Bastar lifeBy IANS
Monday, February 7, 2011
RAIPUR - Maoists in Chhattisgarh blew up an under-construction police outpost at the tourist location of Chitrakot, blocked a national highway and disrupted life in the interiors of Bastar region to enforce a daylong shutdown Monday.
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 through improved explosive devices in early hours at Chitrakot in Bastar district…two of the rooms were damaged heavily,” T.J. Longkumer, Bastar’s inspector general of police, told IANS.
He added that forces have launched searches around the area to apprehend the guerrillas. The outpost, in the final stages of construction, cost about Rs.2 million to build.
Reports coming in from other areas say Maoists have disrupted life in the interiors of their stronghold in 40,000 sq km Bastar that is made up of Narayanpur, Kanker, Bastar, Bijapur and Dantewada districts, placing heavy wooden logs on roads to block traffic.
The National Highway No.16 that connects the rest of the state to Bijapur district was blocked since early morning by rebels. Roads in Dantewada district, including highway No.221, too were deserted.
The iron ore shipment by NMDC Ltd, India’s largest iron ore producer and exporter in public sector, was hit by 15-20 percent at its Dantewada-based Bailadila hills mines as railways refused to provide rakes Sunday night, fearing attacks of Maoists.
Buses were also off the road in the interiors of Bastar region, besides in the state’s Rajnandgaon district and in some pockets of Raipur, Dhamtari and Mahasamund districts.
The outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) has called a shutdown in many states to protest the rising prices of essential commodities and corruption.