Raipur(PTI): Maoists took 250 villagers hostage in Sukma district of Chhattisgarh hours before Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to neighbouring Dantewada but freed all the captives late tonight barring one who was beaten to death after being tried in a "people's court".A senior Chhattisgarh police official said, the Maoists led by commander of the the South Bastar divisional committee, Deva abducted over 500 villagers from Marenga, Tipanpal, Banapara and Patelpara villages in Tongapal police station.
Sukma Superintendent of Police D Shravan said the "Naxals killed a villager identified s Sadaram Nag by holding so-called Jan Adalat in the forests between Gaadem and Munga villages under Tongpal police station limits and released others."
As per information, the freed villagers were returning to their homes, carrying Nag's body with them, Shravan said over phone.
The Maoist rebels abducted the residents of Marenga and some adjoining villages within Tongpal police stations limits late on Friday night and herded them to a nearby forest in protest against construction of a bridge. According to police, the villagers had incurred the rebels' wrath by supporting the development work in the area. Sadaram Nag was supervisor at construction of a bridge on a river near Marenga which may be the reason behind his murder, the SP said.
"Around 200-250 villagers have been abducted and 4-5 others (locals) are negotiating their release," Chief Minister Raman Singh told reporters after conflicting claims were made by police officials on the number of villagers forcibly taken by the ultras. Additional Superintendent of Police, Sukma, Harish Rathore said between 400 and 500 villagers were "taken away" to the jungles by the Maoists opposing the construction of a bridge but Inspector
General of Police, Bastar region, R P Kalluri, dismissed it as a "fiction" created by the media.
Modi, who was on a visit to Dantewada today, said there was no future for violence in democracy and said the "macabre drama of death will end."
"Only plough on the shoulders and not guns can bring development. And this will bring everyone to the mainstream of the country. There is no future for violence. The future is only of peaceful means. "The birth place of Naxal movement Naxalbari has already given up this violent means. Don't get disheartened," he said.
"The macabre drama of death will end," he said, referring to Maoist violence in the state, and added "a lot of people have been killed by "mad men on the path of violence".Security forces were mobilised in the region to nab the Maoists, Shravan added.