KHAMMAM: Over 200 armed Maoists blocked the Cherla-Venkatapuram highway and placed bucket bombs on either side of the road near Ramachandrapuram village in Bhadrachalam agency on Sunday.
Traffic came to a halt as the Maoists blocked the road for at least two hours and stopped people moving in vehicles and residents of Ramachandrapuram village and urged them to observe “Martyrs’ week” scheduled from July 28 to August 3.
An RTC bus which was plying from Warangal to Guntur was forced to return after spotting Maoists. Venkatapuram police were informed. However, police allegedly did not respond immediately and the bombs remained on the road.
Late in the afternoon, the bomb squad arrived and defused the two bombs. Earlier, the Maoists had raised slogans against the State and Central governments, and ‘Operation Green Hunt’, the offensive against Maoist rebels. The insurgents alleged that security forces and the paramilitary were killing innocent tribals, besides armed guerillas.
An atmosphere of fear prevailed and villagers didn't step out of their houses as Maoists distributed pamphlets in Anjanapuram village in Cherla mandal.
Police are said to have taken these incidents seriously and have deployed a large force in the area and launched a combing operation for the Maoists.