Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Maoist blitzkrieg forces Jharkhand cops to blink

TNN 26 August 2009, 03:41am IST


BHUBANESWAR/RANCHI/PATNA: Maoists rampaged through parts of Orissa, Jharkhand and Bihar early Tuesday, the second day of their 48-hour bandh in
three states, blowing up a railway station and a community centre and torching more than 12 vehicles. In the process they forced a rattled Jharkhand police to comply with their diktat.

The Maoists had called for a two-day bandh in these three states along with West Bengal and Chhattisgarh in protest against ‘illegal detention’ of two their top leaders. ‘‘We had called the bandh to force the police (Jharkhand) to admit that they had arrested two of our comrades and produce them in Ranchi court before 5pm on Tuesday. Since they produced them an hour before 5pm, we are calling off the strike,’’ CPI(Maoist) politburo member Kishanji said.

Earlier, the Jharkhand police, which had denied they had arrested two top Maoists, produced the two leaders — identified as Anil and Kartik — amid tight security in a Ranchi court. Late on Monday night, more than 70 Maoists blew up Roxi railway station, about 60 km from Rourkela in Orissa with landmines and abducted its station master and two other railway employees. They also attacked Bhalulata station, about 35 km from Roxi.

After blowing up the station building, they set fire to eight dumpers outside the station, the police said. At least three helpers were injured when the diesel tank of one of the dumpers burst. ‘‘They kept us hostage for about six hours and freed us in the morning. They said we would be in trouble if we did not follow their bandh call,’’ said assistant station master Arbind Kumar. South Eastern Railway CPRO Soumitra Mazumdar said some of the trains were detained at various stations after Maoists attacked Bhalulata station, near Rourkela, but could not explode the building as the explosive device did not go off.

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