Thursday, June 25, 2009

Maoists blow up railway building before Chidambaram's Orissa visit

25 Jun 2009, 1622 hrs IST, IANS



BHUBANESWAR: Maoist rebels Thursday blew up a railway building and damaged the control rooms of three mobile phone towers in Orissa's Koraput
district hours before the visit of Home Minister P. Chidambaram to the region, officials said.

Chidambaram is slated to visit the region Thursday evening to review the police preparedness in taking on the Maoists rebels.

The rebels destroyed the control rooms of the three mobile phone towers and blasted the building all at Kakiriguma village, some 45 km from the district head quarter of Koraput, police said.

The Maoists have blasted mobile towers and a railway building in Kakiriguma, district superintendent of police Deepak Kumar told IANS.

According to an East Coast Railway official, five to six Maoists came to the Kakiriguma railway station early Thursday and forcibly took away the station manager and other staff on duty some distance away.

"After that they blew up the railway station building. As a result, two battery rooms, a panel board and the relay room of the railway station have been severely damaged," ECR spokesman M.D. Sahu said, adding no railway official was injured.

"There is no communication to the station from railway control room. Some trains on the route have been terminated and a few cancelled. Railway officials have already made efforts for normalisation of train operations, which will begin on receipt of clearance from state police," Sahu said.

Koraput district, some 500 km from state capital Bhubaneswar, is considered a Maoist stronghold.

The rebels had attacked the bauxite mine of the state-owned NALCO in the same district April 12. At least 10 Central Industrial Security Force personnel were killed in the attack.

At least 125 villages in the district have been cut off from the rest of the state since June 16 after Maoists felled more than 30 trees on three roads that connect the region to the district headquarters of Koraput.

In another incident, the rebels Wednesday attacked a government office at Narayan Patna - about 60 km away from Kakiriguma and destroyed the office records. They also looted computers, vehicles and food materials, Kumar said.

Officials say the attacks may be a reaction to the ban on Communist Party of India-Maoist the central government has imposed recently, branding the outfit as a terrorist organisation

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