New Delhi, May 17 (Calcutta Tube) Pointing out that ‘killing unarmed civilians has become the hallmark of Maoist violence for a year’, Union Home Secretary G.K. Pillai Monday lamented that no civil society or human rights activist had come forward to condemn the killing of hapless civilians in Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh that left 35 people dead.
Pillai said: ‘Maoist have wanton disregard for human life but no civil society or human rights activist has come forward to condemn their attack.’
‘In the last two day we have seen that the Maoists killed a village sarpanch and five others suspecting them to be police informers,’ said Pillai, adding that ‘nobody gives Maoists the license to kill.’
‘Killing innocent and unarmed civilians on the pretext that they are police informers does not make them any less murderers,’ he said.
The home secretary said as per latest reports, seven personnel, critically injured in the attack, have been taken to the hospital.
‘I hope they survive.’
The report about the attack came around the time Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram went to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Home ministry spokesperson Omkar Kedia said a passenger bus carrying 25 civilians and as many 25 special police officers (SPO) was going from Gadiras to Bhusaras in Dantewada district when it was blown up by an improvised explosive device (IED).
The Maoists are acting in desperation, he said.
He said the SPOs were basically civilians assisting police in fighting the Maoists and were attached to Dantewada police.
The IED was planted on a metalled road and detonated by the left-wing extremists using a remote-controlled device.
A total of 75 paramilitary troopers and one local policeman had been killed in a Maoists ambush in the Dantewada forests on April 6.
Chidambaram had then offered to resign, taking responsibility for the deaths, but the prime minister had asked him to continue as had the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) that said the need of the hour was to stand united in the country’s battle against the extremists.