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6 ‘Maoists’ celebrated, thousands protest in Bastar | India News

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RAIPUR: Thousands of Bastar villagers have protested the recent arrest of six suspected Maoists in the insurgency-hit Narayanpur district of Chhattisgarh. Locals insist they are innocent farmers, while police say they participated in the planting of improvised explosive devices.
The protest started in the suspects’ village a week ago and has since grown in size and target. The protesters are now demanding the scrapping of proposed iron ore mining in the region and the dismantling of all security camps.
On Saturday, more than 5,000 villagers organized a dharna in the village of Dhaudai in Abujhmad, about 35 km from the city of Narayanpur and 220 km from Raipur. They blocked traffic on the Narayanpur-Orchha highway for several hours. Before this, villagers had organized dharnas for five days in Kademeta village, from where the “Maoists” were arrested.
“Six Maoists were arrested for their involvement in the planting of improvised explosive devices in various places on November 12 and 23. They were sent to Narayanpur and Jagdalpur prisons after being presented in court,” Narayanpur SP told TOI. Mohit Garg, adding that they had placed improvised explosive devices The Palli-Barsoor highway is under construction, as the Naxalites are against it. The six detainees are suspected of planted 19 improvised explosive devices, 15 of which were recovered by the police. The remaining four were detonated.
Initially, the residents of Kademeta approached the police to ask about the six people. “They were informed about the court proceedings and their families were offered to visit them in jail,” Garg said.
But soon, the number of protesters rose to thousands.
Narayanpur collector Abhijeet Singh said the exact demands of the villagers are not known because they have not submitted any memoranda.

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