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Maoists torch buses in Bastar to protest the Chhattisgarh encounter
A bus owned by a private operator was flagged off on Monday to ply daily between Hyderabad and Malkangiri in Odisha. Twenty five passengers travelled on the bus on its maiden trip, but unfortunately, Maoists, more than 300 in number, torched the bus near Peddakudditi and Penta villages of Chhattisgarh's Sukma district in south Bastar on Monday night.

Similarly, one after the other, two more buses, one operating between Jagdalpur, the headquarter of Bastar district, and Hyderabad, and another one, travelling from Dantewada towards Hyderabad, were torched by Maoists after asking the passengers to deboard. All the 3 buses were set ablaze on the same spot.

A former police constable identified as Munna Sodhi, who was travelling in one of the buses was also killed after the Maoists suspected him of being a police informer.

The Maoists also set on fire 3 trucks a few meters away from the spot where the 3 buses had been torched, according to sources.

According to the police, the Maoists torched the vehicles in protest against the encounter of 2nd March which took place in the Pujari Kanker area of Bijupur district in Chhattisgarh, in which 10 Maoists, including six female rebels had been killed by the Greyhounds force.

The Maoists put up banners near the burning vehicles claiming responsibility for the incident. The vehicles were set ablaze in protest of the alleged fake encounter in which 10 of their comrades had been killed. However, from Monday onwards, vehicular movement between Chhattisgarh and Telengana has remained completely paralysed.

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