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50 killed in Naxalite attack in Dantewada

By The Assam Tribune

RAIPUR, May 17 � In a brazen attack, Naxals today blew up a bus killing at least 50 people, including 20 Special Police Officers (SPOs), in worst-hit Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh, the second in six weeks.

The passenger bus, which was on its way from Sukma to Dantewada, was blown up by Maoists between Gadiras to Bhusaras near Chingavaram village, about 450 kms from here using Improvised Explosive Device with gelatin sticks.

The bus was thrown up several feet with the impact of the explosion and body parts were strewn along the roadside.

The attack, which took place at around 16:45 hrs, was seen as yet another violation of Standard Operating Procedures which prohibit policemen and SPOs to travel in civilian vehicles.

Meanwhile, the Home Ministry today said the toll in the Maoists attack on a bus in Chhattisgarh could be �pretty heavy� as the vehicle had the capacity to carry 65 to 70 passengers, who were both policemen and civilians.

�We have very sketchy details about the incident. We know that a bus has been blasted and the casualty can be pretty heavy,� Special Secretary (Internal Security) in the Home Ministry Utthan Kumar Bansal said.

Asked whether most of the passengers in the bus were civilians, he said, �I would guess so�.

Bansal said the capacity of such a bus is normally 65 to 70 passengers but he has no information about the exact number of casualties as of now.

�I don�t have information about the injured,� he said.

Bansal said the Special Police Officers, who fell prey to the Naxal attack, were on their way to participate in recruitment to the regular police force.

�The passengers of the bus were partly civilians and partly SPOs who were proceeding for some kind of a recruitment from Sukma,� he said.

Asked whether the SPOs were fresh recruits, Bansal said �I presume so. The information that I have is that these people were SPOs. The system is that SPOs are not deployed on the roads like a regular police officer and apparently some of them have been inducted into the regular police now and perhaps they were going for that kind of an induction. But this is a very preliminary report�.

Meanwhile, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh today said the Naxal attack which killed 50 people in the State showed the desperation of the extremists who were losing their support base.

�This incident shows the cruel face of Naxals. We have been saying this... When the Naxals support base finishes they resort to such methods. Their (Naxals) belief in people�s representatives and local population has finished,� the Chief Minister said, condemning the attack.

�There cannot be police personnel in every village... there are 20 thousand villages. The security forces are moving forward in various areas...They are getting trained. We hope that in the future we will be able to enhance security in a better way,� he said. � PTI

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50 killed in Naxalite attack in Dantewada

RAIPUR, May 17 � In a brazen attack, Naxals today blew up a bus killing at least 50 people, including 20 Special Police Officers (SPOs), in worst-hit Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh, the second in six weeks.

The passenger bus, which was on its way from Sukma to Dantewada, was blown up by Maoists between Gadiras to Bhusaras near Chingavaram village, about 450 kms from here using Improvised Explosive Device with gelatin sticks.

The bus was thrown up several feet with the impact of the explosion and body parts were strewn along the roadside.

The attack, which took place at around 16:45 hrs, was seen as yet another violation of Standard Operating Procedures which prohibit policemen and SPOs to travel in civilian vehicles.

Meanwhile, the Home Ministry today said the toll in the Maoists attack on a bus in Chhattisgarh could be �pretty heavy� as the vehicle had the capacity to carry 65 to 70 passengers, who were both policemen and civilians.

�We have very sketchy details about the incident. We know that a bus has been blasted and the casualty can be pretty heavy,� Special Secretary (Internal Security) in the Home Ministry Utthan Kumar Bansal said.

Asked whether most of the passengers in the bus were civilians, he said, �I would guess so�.

Bansal said the capacity of such a bus is normally 65 to 70 passengers but he has no information about the exact number of casualties as of now.

�I don�t have information about the injured,� he said.

Bansal said the Special Police Officers, who fell prey to the Naxal attack, were on their way to participate in recruitment to the regular police force.

�The passengers of the bus were partly civilians and partly SPOs who were proceeding for some kind of a recruitment from Sukma,� he said.

Asked whether the SPOs were fresh recruits, Bansal said �I presume so. The information that I have is that these people were SPOs. The system is that SPOs are not deployed on the roads like a regular police officer and apparently some of them have been inducted into the regular police now and perhaps they were going for that kind of an induction. But this is a very preliminary report�.

Meanwhile, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh today said the Naxal attack which killed 50 people in the State showed the desperation of the extremists who were losing their support base.

�This incident shows the cruel face of Naxals. We have been saying this... When the Naxals support base finishes they resort to such methods. Their (Naxals) belief in people�s representatives and local population has finished,� the Chief Minister said, condemning the attack.

�There cannot be police personnel in every village... there are 20 thousand villages. The security forces are moving forward in various areas...They are getting trained. We hope that in the future we will be able to enhance security in a better way,� he said. � PTI