Balaghat (Madhya Pradesh): Maoists set fire to several road construction machines in the village of Mandwa under the Rupjhar police station, 60 km from the district headquarters, on Wednesday, official sources said on Thursday.

They paired up a JCB machine, a road roller, a motorcycle and a hot asphalt mixer.

It was the third incident in a week. In two earlier incidents on December 3 and December 6, the Maoists set fire to several road-building machines, police said.

In addition to burning road construction equipment, the Maoists intimidated workers working at the site and snatched cell phones from them.

Workers were also asked to leave the site and put up a poster on the wall of a makeshift house near the factory.

Through the poster, they called on people to join the proposed strike in Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh on Friday, sources said.

A contractor from Raipur to Chhattisgarh, Sanjay Agarwal, is building the road.

Seeing the smoke rising from the area, a group of villagers rushed to the spot. But, immediately after that, they returned home out of fear of the Maoists.

The incidents took place despite the presence of the Central Reserve Police, District Police, Cobra Battalion and Gorilla Force. †

Almost 5,000 Jawans of these elite forces have been deployed to the region. According to officials, security guards are continually searching the area.

These incidents have raised fears in neighboring villages dominated by tribal people.

Police Commissioner Abhishek Tiwari confirmed the incident in which road construction machinery was set on fire.

A police team rushed to the scene and started searching for the Maoists, he said.

VVIPs attend wedding ceremony in Kirnapur

Former Chief Minister Digvijaya Singh, Chief Minister of Chhatisgarh Bhupesh Baghel and many other politicians were present at a wedding ceremony of the brother of former lawmaker and Assembly Speaker Hina Kawre in the Kirnapur region in the district. As a result, security has been enhanced. †

Kirnapur belongs to the Maoist infested zone. After the murder of Maoist leader Milind Teltumude during a meeting with the police in Maharashtra, various Maoist groups became active. †

Avoid the path of violence, says Digvijaya

Former Chief Minister Digvijaya Singh called on the Maoists to avoid violence and win the hearts of the people.

Maoists should follow the Indian constitution and fight against elections because that is the only way, he said. He made this statement after attending the wedding ceremony in Kirnapur.

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Posted on: Friday December 10, 2021, 1:10 am IST

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