Gadchiroli encounter: Naxals burn road roller, announce bandh on 10 Dec in MP, Maha, Chhattisgarh
At least 26 Naxals were killed in early November in an encounter with the Maharashtra police in Gadchiroli district
Bhopal/Balaghat: Naxalites burnt a road roller engaged in construction work in Madhya Pradesh's Balaghat district and left behind pamphlets calling for a bandh in MP, Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh on 10 December to protest the killing of rebels in an encounter in Gadchiroli last month, police said.
The incident took place on the intervening night of Friday-Saturday near Korka village of Balaghat, they said.
Enraged over the killing of Naxals in a police encounter at Gadchiroli in neighbouring Maharashtra, a group of 18 to 20 rebels burnt the roller engaged in road construction work near Korka village under Birsa police station area, Superintendent of Police Abhishek Tiwari said on Saturday.
The Maoists also left behind pamphlets, calling for a bandh on 10 December in three states — Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh, he said.
Police patrolling has already been increased in affected areas since the past one-and-a-half-months, the official said, adding that search is now also underway for Naxals involved in burning the road roller.
A banner with seven pamphlets, mentioning the name of the Chhattisgarh Zonal Committee and Malajkhand Area Committee of Maoists were also found at the spot, police officials said.
The pamphlets mentioned the killing of 26 Naxals, including prominent Maoist leader Milind Teltumbde (57), who was carrying a bounty of Rs 50 lakh on his head, in the police encounter in Gadchiroli on November 13, they said.
On Saturday, Madhya Pradesh Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Rajesh Rajora informed that the state government had decided to bring three Maoist-hit districts — Dindori, Balaghat and Mandla — under one police zone from 1 December.
Dindori was part of the Shahdol police zone, but now it has become a part of the Balaghat zone as all the three Naxal-affected districts are brought under one zone, he said. Balaghat has been one of the most Naxal-hit districts in MP.
Last month, a group of Naxals allegedly killed two villagers on the suspicion of being police informers in Malikhedi village of Balaghat.
In a similar incident in June this year, the rebels had killed a 42-year-old man in Bamhani village under Roopjhar police station area in Balaghat.
In August this year, in a major success against Naxalism, the Balaghat police had after an encounter arrested a 25-year-old rebel, identified as Sandeep Kunjam aka Lakkhu, who was carrying a reward of Rs 8 lakh on his head.
During a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on 29 November, officials had informed that seven hardcore Maoists (Area Committee Members or ACM) were killed in police encounters and three others arrested in the past two years in MP, which also led to the seizure of arms and ammunition as well as curbing of extortion activities of the ultras among tendu leaves contractors.
Eighteen people were also arrested on charges of supplying arms to Maoists during this period, officials earlier said.