Indian Maoist rebels took 250 villagers hostage in restive Chhattisgarh just hours before Prime Minister Narendra Modi toured the central state on Saturday, officials said.
Guerillas abducted the villagers late Friday in Sukma district, 80 kilometres (50 miles) away from where the right-wing Modi later addressed a public rally, said the state’s chief minister.
“250 villagers have been abducted by the Maoists. We are trying our best to secure their release,” Raman Singh said without giving further details.
Lawmaker Kawashi Lakma told AFP that the rebels grabbed locals from Morenga village and took them through deep forests to a nearby hill.
“The Maoists had been opposing the construction of a bridge on one of the rivers because they felt it would give the security forces easy access to their hideouts,” said Kawashi Lakma.