At least thirty-five villagers were allegedly thrashed by Maoists for refusing to attend a meeting called by them at Dantewada district in Chhattisgarh, police said on Saturday.
Dantewada Superintendent of Police Abhishek Pallava said some people in Phulpad village under Kuakonda police station limits had refused to attend the meeting called by naxals on Thursday.
"Naxals tied them to trees and hit them. At least 35 villagers have been injured, 10 of them grievously," he said.
Pallava said 16 of those thrashed had been admitted to the Kuakonda community health centre, while another villager with severe injuries was admitted to Dantewada district hospital.
"Rest of the villagers who sustained injuries in the naxal beating refused treatment as they feared that Maoists would punish them for seeking police help," the SP said.
A police team, along with three ambulances, rushed to Phulpad Friday morning, Pallava said. He said such a mass beating was a first in the region and was probably due to frustration on the part of naxals over recent arrests of their accomplices.
Nine victims have come forward to file complaints and a search operation for the culprits was underway, the SP said.