May 17th, 2010
04:37 PM ET

Suspected India Maoists kill 35 in bus attack, police chief says

Suspected Maoists killed 35 people in a land mine attack against a bus in central India on Monday afternoon, a local police chief told CNN.

In addition, 30 injured passengers were transported to a health care center, Dantewada Police Deputy Superintendent Sanjay Sharma said.

At least 14 policemen and 13 civilians were among the fatalities, according to CNN-IBN, CNN's sister network in India.

The civilian bus was blown 20 feet into the air after hitting an explosive device on a road roughly 280 miles (450 km) south of the state capital of Raipur, CNN-IBN reported.

"Today we have seen the wanton disregard for life," Indian Union Home Secretary G.K. Pillai said, according to CNN-IBN.  "This is a new dimension.  I can only say that the targeting of civilians shows the Maoists are desperate."

The strike occurred one day before the Maoists were set to launch a 48-hour protest in five states in response to a new government crackdown against them, CNN-IBN noted.

Suspected Maoist rebels killed at least seven officials when they blew up an armored security vehicle in eastern India earlier this month, authorities told CNN.  Suspected guerillas killed more than 70 federal police in a deadly ambush in April.

India regards the left-wing insurgents as its most serious internal security threat.  The Maoists have claimed to be fighting for the dispossessed since the 1960s.

India's home ministry said earlier this month that nonprofit groups and intellectuals found helping the banned insurgents spread their ideology would be prosecuted under the country's laws.

But Human Rights Watch decried the warning as an attempt to silence political speech.

"The Indian government should think twice before trying to silence political discussion and demanding endorsement of its views on Maoist groups," said Brad Adams, Asia director for the U.S.-based rights group.

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soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Icarus

    Maoists = Muslims?

    This attack reeks of jihad.

    May 17, 2010 at 8:19 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Alvi

    Do u think all communities who have been imposed war on they are terrorists? No u are are wrong its crap what u said. Muslims are the most peaceful nation but imposed wars on by the west, same is with poor maoists they need freedom from the Hindus, and they need there seperate land. And India never listens to their right of self determination as Indian attosities are also in Kashmir since last 60 years. Its always Muslim getting killed by others and its always maoists getting supressed by Indian politicians. Well personally i am with Maoists........ Killing is not right though!

    May 17, 2010 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Daveak47

      Typical brainwashed muslim thinking.

      Something is wrong. Let's blame west.

      June 30, 2010 at 1:15 am | Report abuse |
  3. Alvi

    And for your Information JIHAD starts when others impose war on you..... or dont lets u live peacefully or ruin ur lives and ur homes, Indian Army have done crualties in Kashmir on poor Kashmiris, also across India, what happened in Gujrat Ahmed Abad, they are just exploiting Muslims as muslims ruled them for over 800 years, Hindus are still in that shame and blame....... Well sooner the table will take a turn in the world. PEACE is for all.

    May 17, 2010 at 8:52 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Ivan

    I fail to see why 14 policemen would be killed on a civilian bus, unless the bus fell from twenty feet down onto a conveniently close group of policemen eating donuts.

    May 17, 2010 at 10:41 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Shubho

    Alvi, with your fervent defense of Jihad and your visceral hatred for the nation of India, your roots and sympathies are pretty obvious. There is really no need to elaborate.
    Maoists have nothing to do with organized religion of any sort. They are terrorists driven by ideology, in this case, violent armed uprising against a democracy in their quest for some kind of socialist utopia. At least, that's the popular imagination. In reality, they are nothing but thugs preventing vast swathes of tribal India from seeing any development. After every such violent incident, their closet sympathizers among the hard left come out of the woodwork to justify the killings and to berate the government for lack of development. The truth is that development does not come at the point of a gun. In all other states of the country, where the maoist menace is absent, all development indicators, including education, health, demographic and economic, have been steadily rising over the past decade. As in many other countries in the world, leftist extremists have brought untold suffering on themselves and their flock by their nihilistic ideologies and methods.
    Another thing is that the Indian government has decided not to use their armed forces to fight these groups. The reasoning is probably more idealistic than pragmatic, that these are Indian citizens and India will not use its army or air-force for operations against its own citizens on Indian soil. The result is that poorly trained and poorly equipped state police and paramilitary are being used against well entrenched maoists in dense jungle terrain, resulting in these kinds of incidents. There is a tremendous push across the political spectrum for stronger retaliation against these terrorists, and for the use of air-power, but so far the government has held its ground. Also, there is agreement among the population and the government that this is not a problem that can be solved by force alone.
    India is a complex country that survives and does well in spite of political, religious, ideological pulls and pushes on a massive scale. Simplistic, dishonest narratives such as Alvi's based on religious fanaticism and hatred rather than facts are laughable.

    May 18, 2010 at 12:11 am | Report abuse |
  6. ruffnutt

    how does a landmine attack anyways? shouldnt it say the bus ran over a landmine?

    May 18, 2010 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Kuruvilla M U

    Oh, Maoist leader dear Kishenji !
    I am a once-upon-a-time member of the Communist Party of Hindhustan. Treat me as a Govindan Kutty - much older than Govindan Kutty..
    Kishenji, throw away your gun and plead with your JNU supporters, "March with me this Gandhi, to New Heaven And New Earth - not to Dandi."
    You will become the Planet's Gandhi of the twenty-first century. Only you from Hindustan - at this moment - can be that Gandhi.
    I am not pooh-poohing you.

    If you pooh-pooh me, that clever school girl of USA will become the Planet's Gandhi, who asked her President, "Among the ones reincarnated, whom will you eat with?", for which she got the reply, "I shall eat with Gandhi only, even though he may discourage me from filling my stomach beyond capacity!" - after which only the President proudly proclaimed to his white compatriots, "I'm a black man," though his mother was white.
    Even if you succeed with your gun, your fate will not be different from that Mengistu Haile Mariam of Ethiopia - a Napoleon of Orwell - where my students gave him full support, where I happened to teach after teaching in Kenya of the President of USA.

    May 19, 2010 at 10:47 pm | Report abuse |