An auto driver in Telangana suffered serious injuries after he stepped on a pressure bomb planted by a Maoist group near Bhadrachalam on Thursday.
The New Indian Express reported that the explosion occurred near Vijaypuri colony on the Cherla-Venkatapuram highway, with the victim being identified as Guggilla Karthik (22).
He was shifted to a private hospital in Hanamkonda after suffering serious injuries to his face, and also reportedly losing his sight in one eye.
Quoting sources, the TNIE report adds that the 16th Peopleās Liberation Guerilla Army (PLGA) has planned a week-long programme from December 2 to 8, and had put up banners and posters across the area, with one of them being planted with the pressure bomb.
However, locals alleged that the police had sent Karthik to recover the posters because they were being cautious and not putting themselves at risk.
The Times of India reported that police officials from Vajedu and Venkatapur were unwilling to visit the village, as it was deep in the Venkatapur forest area. Instead, they contacted local villagers, following which they got through to Karthik, and asked him to collect the banner and posters.
Tensions have been high along the common border between Telangana, Andhra and Odisha, ever since the recent encounter in the Malkanjgiri forests where security forces shot down 24 people alleged to be Maoists.
In the week that followed, continuous combing operations raised the death toll to 31.
Top Maoist leader Ramakrishna alias RK, was missing ever since the incident.
However, writer and Maoist sympathiser Vara Vara Rao later claimed that he was safe, and alleged that the police were torturing tribals for information.
Meanwhile, TOI reported that the local police began combing the Aavulapally and Venkatapur forest areas for Maoists, and also cautioned all VIPs against travelling in the area.