Raipur: The Chhattisgarh Police has arrested "six innocent advisasis" for the April 6 Dantewada attack in which 76 security personnel were killed, a Maoist leader said, claiming that none of those nabbed had anything do with the incident.
"The arrests ... include six innocent Adivasis. They are innocent villagers, one is a sarpanch, and (they have been) arrested under false charges," Ramanna, a Maoist leader from the Dandakaranya special zonal committee, told BBC`s Hindi Service by phone.
He denied the claim that amongst those arrested was a militia commander.
"The police are under the pressure of the administration and making these arrests. None of the Naxalites involved in that (Dantewada) incident have been arrested. All these claims are aimed at getting media publicity," Ramanna said.
He dismissed claims that the guerrillas were using wireless sets of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and claimed that they got their hands on the sets only after the troopers were killed.
Ramanna also claimed that that civilians were not targeted in the May 17 bus attack -- in which 31 people, including women and children, were killed in a landmine blast targeting a passenger bus in Dantewada.
The Maoist leader blamed the police for using villagers as human shields and held them responsible for the unnecessary loss of lives of ordinary villagers.
The Chhattisgarh Police said Monday they had arrested six Maoist sympathisers, including a self-styled Maoist commander Barsa Lakhma, for their alleged involvement in the April 6 massacre.
"The police party raided Kottabura village, about four kilometres from Chintalnar (where the attack took place), after getting information that the rebels were camping there," Superintendent of Police Amresh Mishra had said.
Besides the self-styled commander, the others arrested were identified as Oyam Hidma, Podiyami Hidma, Kawasi Budra, Oya Ganga and Dura Joga.
Mishra said they belonged to the Jan Militia (army of villagers) and not the hardcore cadre of Maoists.
The six arrested were, however, part of the 100 militia members that assisted about 190 Maoists in the attack, he said.