Maoists target bus in Bastar, 4 hurt

Maoists target bus in Bastar, 4 hurt

RAIPUR: Nearly 50 passengers travelling in a private bus had a miraculous escape on Tuesday when a blast triggered by Maoists missed the target near Mahrabada in Narayanpur district in tribal Bastar region of Chhattisgarh.

Four passengers were injured as they were hit by splinters following the explosion. The vehicle was also carrying 15 security personnel seated on top of the bus.

The private bus owned by Bastar Travels was on its way from Narayanpur to Orchha. Following the blast, rebels opened fire and the security personnel retaliated.

The rebels subsequently withdrew and fled in the forests. All the injured have been rushed to Narayanpur district hospital.

A senior official at police headquarter said that at times security forces travel in civilian buses to keep safe. He said that explosion wasn’t very strong and it looked as if it was mainly threaten civilians against travelling with security forces. Rear part of bus was damaged in the incident.

On May 18, 2010, Maoists blew up a private vehicle killing 35 people- 24 civilians and 11 Special Police Officers – using a powerful Improvised Explosive Device (IED).

Subsequently, the rebels apologized for the civilian casualities but warned security personnel not to board civilian vehicles.

Last month, Maoists hijacked a private bus and two other vehicles in Sukma district and later released all passengers without harming them in an apparent attempt to search whether any security personnel were traveling in these vehicles.

Transport service operators and taxi owners are caught between the devil and the deep sea, as carrying security personnel will invite the wrath of rebels and they can’t refuse when policemen want to board their vehicles.


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