Indian Maoists destroy mobile towers, snap lines

30 06 2008

PATNA, India, June 27 (Reuters) – India’s Maoist insurgents destroyed two mobile towers and have shut down six others in the country’s east, blaming the network for revealing their movements to the police, officials said.
Rebels, fearing mobiles are being used by informers, have banned the use of mobile phones in villages under their control in India after hundreds of suspected insurgents were arrested this year.
Police said armed rebels set two towers of Bharti Airtel Ltd on fire on Thursday in Bihar state, snapping communication lines in the region.
“The Maoists are angry since the police were able to locate their movements through the mobile network, leading to many arrests,” said Ajay Kumar Sinha, a senior police officer from Gaya district, where the incident took place.
The rebels called local media to claim responsibility.
A spokeswoman for Bharti Airtel said they were looking into the issue.
The rebels say they are fighting for the rights of the poor and landless. They regularly kill policemen and attack government establishments in eastern and central India.
They usually operate in a large swathe of India stretching from the east to some southern states, mostly in the countryside. (Writing by Bappa Majumdar; Editing by Alistair Scrutton) (For the latest Reuters news on India see: in.reuters.com, for blogs see blogs.reuters.com/in/.)

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