WARANGAL/ KHAMMAM: An auto driver was grievously injured when he accidentally stepped on a tiffin box, in which explosive materials were placed, allegedly by a Maoist group. The incident took place in Venkatapuram mandal of Bhupalpally district, which connects Bhadrachalam in Telangana with Chhattisgarh, in the early hours of Thursday.
The explosion occurred near Vijaypuri colony on Cherla-Venkatapuram highway in the district. The victim has been identified as Guggilla Karthik (22), a resident of Venkatapuram village. He has been shifted to a private hospital in Hanamkonda. It is learnt that Kartik’s face and eyes were injured. Sources said that a week-long programme has been planned from December 2 to 8 by the Maoists as part of the 16th People’s Liberation Guerilla Army (PLGA) to pay homage to their top leaders killed in police encounters.
The Maoists had put up banners and posters across the area appealing people to make the programme a success and urging youth to join the PLGA to fight for the rights of the marginalised. They also placed a pressure bomb in a small steel pot as a booby trap targeting the police.
According to police, Karthik, who was returning to Venkatapuram from Bhadrachalam, along with his friend went to relieve himself near the roadside and accidentally stepped on the pressure bomb which went off injuring him seriously.
Alerted by the locals, Venkatapuram police rushed to the spot and shifted him to the government hospital in the village. Later, he was shifted to a private hospital in Hanamkonda and from there to LV Prasad Eye Institute in Hyderabad to get his eyes treated.
Venkatapuram circle-inspector M Sai Ramanna said the Maoists, who were desperate following loss of their top leadership in the recent police action, were trying to make their presence felt.
In June this year, a booby trap placed by the Maoists was defused by the police in Venakatapuram mandal.
However, local people told mediapersons that Karthik was asked by the police to remove posters put up by the Maoist groups and while he was removing them he came across a tiffin box and he tried to pick up. “As soon as he touched the box, it went off injuring Karthik seriously on his face,” locals claimed.
The posters were put up by the Charla Shabari Area Committee of the outlawed CPI (Maoist) outfit. Venkatapur mandal that was in Khammam was recently merged with Bhupalpalli district during reorganisation of districts in Telangana state.