RAIPUR: Maoist insurgents organised a show of strength in Bijapur and Sukma districts of Chhattisgarh’s Bastar region by mobilising what could be around 10,000 villagers on a slogan-shouting long march to end their ‘Shaheedi Saptah‘ on August 3 – a week-long tribute to slain comrades.
Armed rebels in black PLGA fatigue and some in red were seen in videos of the rally that, sources said, was led by senior “commanders”, many of them from neighbouring Telangana. Some pictures show Maoists saluting a 64-ft-high memorial erected in memory of insurgents killed in shootouts.
IG P Sundarraj said: “Maoists observe martyrs’ week every year from July 27 to August 3. They gather villagers in their strongholds and try to misguide them on various issues. This has been their modus operandi for four decades. In the last few years, areas under Maoist influence have shrunk considerably. We have opened up more than 43 camps in the last three years.”