Home India Maoists torch bus in AP to protest leader’s death

Maoists torch bus in AP to protest leader’s death

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Members of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) set afire a private bus travelling from Odisha to Hyderabad in Andhra Pradesh’s Alluri Seetharama Raju district late on Sunday night, the police said.

The incident happened between Kothuru and Sarivela villages, about three kilometres from Chintoor town at around 11 pm.

“The bus carrying about 40 passengers was coming from Jeypor in Odisha to Hyderabad via Chintoor, when a group of Maoists supposedly belonging to Konta area committee of Chhattisgarh waylaid it,” Chintoor additional superintendent of police G Krishnakanth told reporters.

They asked the passengers to get down, broke open the diesel tank of the bus and set the bus afire and returned to the adjacent jungles by raising slogans. The area is located closer to the Dandakaranya zone of Chhattisgarh, which is a stronghold of the Maoists.

“All the passengers are safe. A 50-year-old woman from Jeypore sustained minor burn injuries as she was standing closer to the bus when it was engulfed in flames. Investigation is on,” the ASP said, adding that the police rushed to the spot on coming to know about the incident and made alternative arrangements for the passengers to travel to Hyderabad.

The Maoist also left behind a few posters at the site, condemning the death of 62-year-old Alluri Usha Rani alias Nirmala alias Narmada. Naramada, who was heading part of the Dandakaranya zone, died of cancer while being an undertrial in a jail in Mumbai.

The Maoists called for a Dandakaranya bandh on Sunday and Monday as a mark of protest over the death of Narmada while she was in judicial remand.

According to the posters left by the Maoists, Narmada, who hailed from Krishna district, had done her postgraduation in Chennai in 1980, before joining the Maoists. She had been in the movement for 42 years. In 2019, she was arrested in Hyderabad, where she was undergoing treatment for cancer. Later, she was shifted to a Mumbai jail, where she breathed her last.

Though there has been no Maoist activity in Andhra Pradesh, the Maoists from Chhattisgarh occasionally cross over to Andhra borders to create some offences to make their presence felt, the police said.

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