Cowardly attack, says Pillai

Cowardly attack, says Pillai

G K Pillai: The government of Chhattisgarh must take the strongest action possible against Naxals.

The ministry said most of the casualty could be that of civilians, who were travelling in the bus along with the policemen. The capacity of the targeted bus is estimated to be of 65 to 70 passengers.

Union Home Secretary G K Pillai described the attack as cowardly, saying the so-called Maoists had targeted innocent lives.

U K Bansal, Special Secretary for Internal Security in the Union Home Ministry, said: “The passengers of the bus were partly civilians and partly Special Police Officers who were proceeding for some kind of a recruitment from Sukma”.

The attack came a day before the Maoists’ call for a 48-hour bundh in five states, including Chhattisgarh, from Tuesday in protest against the security operations launched against them by the Centre.

“We have very sketchy details about the incident. We know that a bus has been blasted and the casualty can be pretty heavy,” Bansal said.
Asked whether most of the passengers in the bus were civilians, he said “I would guess so”.

Bansal said the capacity of such a bus is normally 65 to 70 passengers, but he has no information about the exact number of casualties as of now.

‘No information’

“I don’t have information about the injured,” he said. Bansal said the Special Police Officers, who fell prey to the Naxal attack, were on their way to participate in recruitment to the regular police force.

Asked whether the Special Police Officers were fresh recruits, Bansal said “I presume so. The information that I have is that these people were SPOs. The system is that SPOs are not deployed on the roads like a regular police officer and apparently some of them have been inducted into the regular police now and perhaps they were going for that kind of an induction. But this is a very preliminary report”, he said.

This is the second deadliest attack by the Naxals after the recent ambush in the same district which claimed lives of 76 Central Reserve Police Force men.

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