Raipur, Feb 7 (IANS) Five policemen, abducted from a passenger bus at gun point, are still being held captive by Maoists in Chhattisgarh and police searches have failed to trace them despite raids in known rebel strongholds in jungle areas.
“No news so far about abducted colleagues, we carried out several raids in the jungles of Bastar mainly in Narayanpur district for a breakthrough but all efforts failed to yield any results,” T.J. Longkumer, Bastar’s inspector general of police, told IANS.
The anxious relatives of the abducted policemen, who are drawn from the Chhattisgarh Armed Forces (CAF), are camping at Narayanpur town and have appealed to the rebels to free their men, saying their families are poor.
The relatives have also said the abducted men would not do police duty once if they are freed unharmed.
The outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) cadres stalked a passenger bus Jan 25 in an interior location in Narayanpur district and at gun point forced five CAF personnel and a civilian to disembark. The rebels released the civilian after a few days but the security personnel continue to be in their captivity.
The policemen, who were unarmed and not in police uniform, were on way to the district headquarters in Narayanpur town from their posting in an interior area after being granted leave.
Officials at the police headquarters here say that the Maoists have probably kept the abducted people at their hideouts at Abujhmad in Narayanpur, a difficult location protected by multiple layers of landmines. Abujhmad is also one of India’s most densely forested areas.
Maoists last week sent a list of 11 demands to police from their forested location as conditions to release the policemen. They strongly objected to the army plan to set up a training centre at the doorstep of the 4,000 sq km Abujhmad forest area, which is the headquarters of the outfit and a hideout of its top leaders.