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     Dantewada/Raipur, March 29, 2011: Dantewada Police today arrested ten Congress MLAs, including former Home Minister Nand Kumar Patel, when they were attempting to proceed towards Tadmetla, Timmapuram and Morepalli to take stock of the situation.

     The Congress MLAs were declared arrested by the IG Bastar T J Long Kumer before they could reach the arson and violence hit villages.

     They were taken to the Dornapal CRPF camp and after detaining them for an hour, they were released, officials said.

     Congress party leaders said the local administration, including Bastar IG and Commissioner had obstructed them from visiting the affected villages saying the situation was not conducive for them to visit.

     However, Nand Kumar Patel alleged that the Police did not allow them to visit the area to keep them away from the actual incidents.

     Local police has been accused of involved in arson, sexual or physical atrocities and violence in Tadmetla, Timmapuram and Morepalli on March 13, when the forces were on an anti-Maoists operation.

     Among the arrested MLAs were Patel, Dharamjeet Singh, Shiv Kumar Dehria, Kuldeep Singh Juneja, Prem Sai Singh, Amarjeet Bhagat, Kawashi Lakhma, Hridaya Ram Rathia, Bodhram Kanwar and Bhajan Singh Nirankari.

     After the arrest, the Congress members had decided not to proceed towards the affected villages and decided to return back to Raipur to raise the issue tomorrow in the state Assembly, party sources said.

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