Friday, June 26, 2009

Maoists run amok in Koraput


Attacks come a few hours before Chidambaram’s visit

— Photo: Ch. Santakar

Act of vandalism: A cellular phone tower near the Kakiriguma railway station in Koraput district of Orissa that was blasted by Maoists on Thursday.

KORAPUT: Maoists attacked a railway station, damaged cellular phone towers and looted a block office in Koraput district of Orissa in the early hours of Thursday.

The attacks came a few hours before the visit of Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram to Koraput to review the preparedness to tackle the naxal menace.

Maoists blasted parts of the Kakiriguma railway station around midnight on Wednesday night. They also blasted the battery rooms of two mobile phone towers along with the telephone exchange of the BSNL at Kakiriguma.

According to Kakiriguma station master A.K. Prusty, naxals blasted the switch room, signal room, battery room, relay room, panel board and the station master’s office. They left two live bombs in the BSNL exchange.

Rail traffic hit

The Maoist attack at Kakiriguma affected the rail traffic in the Rayagada-Koraput section. The Bhubaneswar-Koraput Hirakhand Express was sent back to Bhubaneswar from Rayagada.

During the same time, another group of Maoists and their supporters attacked the block office at Narayanpatna. This block remained cut off from outside world since June 15, owing to road blocks created by naxals.

Office ransacked

Maoists ransacked the block office, burnt down the records and looted the food material stored for mid-day meal project.

They left some posters in English, Hindi and Oriya at Kakiriguma in which they opposed the establishment of a Cobra battalion at Sunabeda in Koraput district.

Naxals attacked the bauxite mine of NALCO in Koraput district on April 12 and killed 10 Central Industrial Security Force personnel. They attacked two police stations and a police outpost in the district on June 7 night.

Over 100 villages of the Narayanpatna and Bandhugaon blocks of the district still remain cut off from outside world due to road blocks and threat of landmines. A police team trying to clear the roads fell victim to a landmine blast and nine were killed in the June 18 incident.

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