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Bastar: Jawan on board? Drivers prefer to beg or flee

Posted by Admin on September 7, 2009

bastar-unveild-lush-green-forestSHEENA K.

Raipur, Sept. 6: In the Maoist stronghold of Bastar, drivers prefer to abandon their vehicles if policemen board them.

Reason: A rebel diktat prohibits bus and taxi owners from ferrying the men in uniform.

Three days ago, sources said, a group of security personnel boarded a private bus from a stand in Narayanpur — one of the Maoist-hit districts of Bastar.

The jawans of the state police were travelling to a remote village where they were posted.

Noticing the personnel, the bus’s owner came and begged them to get off the bus. After a prolonged pleading, the jawans got down and got on another bus. This time, the bus’s driver and conductor fled.

“We are left with two options, plea or flee,” said a Bastar bus operator reluctant to be named.

Security personnel may be convinced, but transporters cannot ignore the Maoist whip. Rebels abducted a driver and a conductor from Narayanpur three days ago and threatened to chop off their hands if they allowed security personnel to travel in their vehicle.

In interiors of Bastar, buses and taxis are the main mode of transportation.

Due to the bus and taxi owners stand, personnel posted in the interiors are facing serious problem to get to their destination.

It took six CRPF and Chhattisgarh Armed Force jawans six days to travel a distance of 450km to reach Raipur today from Bijapur. They were posted at Usoor.

The jawans, on their way to Uttar Pradesh, said that they were not allowed on any bus despite being in civil uniform. Finally, they received a lift from a duty vehicle. To travel the 150km stretch from Bijapur to Jagdapur took two days and three vehicle changes.

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