Police sneak into forests after Maoist killings



Raipur: Dozens of policemen sneaked into a thick forest in Chhattisgarh's Dantewada district to avenge the deaths of their three colleagues killed by Maoist guerrillas a day earlier, officials said.

Head constable Ramesh Kujur and constables Santosh Yadav and Ashok Markam were killed Wednesday when Maoists triggered a blast and opened fire as they came out of the Gollappalli police station in Dantewada, 500 km from Raipur.

A search operation could not be undertaken after the killings as it was considered risky to venture into the forests after sunset.

"We began the search early Thursday. Nearly 100 policemen have sneaked into the forests of Gollapalli to apprehend the killers," TJ Longkumer, Bastar's inspector general of police, told reporters.

A police official in Dantewada said that Gollapalli, located close to the Andhra Pradesh border, is a stronghold of Maoists since the late 1980s and it was ringed by landmines.

Dantewada forms the forested 40,000 sq km Bastar region along with Bijapur, Narayanpur, Bastar and Kanker districts.

The region is called the nerve centre of Maoist militancy in India, and an estimated 1,750 people have lost their lives in violence there since 2005.

IANS