Monday, March 31, 2008

Bastar on alert after Maoists snap power supply

Raipur, March 30 (IANS) With power supply disrupted in over 150 villages in Chhattisgarh after Maoist guerrillas damaged electric poles, police fear the rebels may carry out attacks at night. Patrolling has been intensified in the villages in southern region of Bastar, where the rebels damaged five 133-KV electricity supply poles Friday.

“The entire Usur block and some areas of Bhopalpatnam block are facing a blackout since Friday night. We fear the rebels may use the opportunity to attack either police or civilians installations,” Ankit Garg, district superintendent of police, told IANS on phone Sunday.

He said extra police deployment has made in the villages. “Security around police stations and outposts have been strengthened and police presence has been increased in and around government installations,” Garg said.

Chhattisgarh State Electricity Board (CSEB) engineers have been sent to install new poles to resume the supply, but that is unlikely before Tuesday, sources said.

In Bijapur, Maoist guerrillas carried out the biggest ever attack on a police camp in March 2007 and massacred 55 policemen at Rani Bodli village.

In June last year, the rebels blasted three high-tension transmission towers that created a blackout for more than a week in the entire Bastar region - Dantewada, Bijapur, Narayanpur, Kanker and Bastar.

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