Police clueless about Maoist kidnap
Apr 21, 2007 - 1:28:46 PM

Raipur, April 21 - Despite overnight raids at several places in Chhattisgarh's forest belt, the police remained clueless about the whereabouts of four people abducted by Maoists.

The four hostages include two relatives of a ruling Bharatiya Janata Party - legislator, Vikram Usendi.

About 100 armed men swooped in on Sulangi, a village 235 km south of Raipur Thursday night in Kanker district, and took hostage two cousins of Usendi. They also looted cash, jewellery and other valuables. The rebels also abducted the two drivers of tractors owned by the kidnapped relatives.

'The police have stepped up search operations and conducted raids at over a dozen places in Kanker district but have no clues about the legislator's relatives,' a police officer told IANS over telephone.

He added that the 'police are doing their best to free them but probably the rebels have taken them deep inside of Abujhmad forest'.

Abujhmad forest is spread out over 4,000 sq km area of Bastar's 40,000 sq km area and is known to be a Maoist stronghold where police hardly dare visit. The outskirts of the entire area is strewn with landmines.

Chhattisgarh is one of 13 Indian states hit hard by Maoist violence.

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