Monday, November 30, 2009

Maoists target cops, school buildings

Manoj Prasad Posted online: Tuesday , Dec 01, 2009 at 0333 hrs

Ranchi : Maoist rebels exploded landmines, including one targeting a police patrol party, and demolished at least six school buildings, which were to lodge security personnel during the ongoing elections, as they continued to observe a two-day shutdown in the state.
The Maoists triggered a landmine explosion in Chatra district early on Monday, injuring three police constables. The condition of one of them was said to be critical. This came less than 24 hours after a landmine blast killed three villagers near Patmada village in East Singhbhum district.

The CPI (Maoist) cadres have been enforcing the 48-hour shutdown since Sunday night to press their demand for production of one of their comrades, Ashok Mahato, in court.

Maoist violence also cast its shadow on the ongoing election process. In Palamau, the rebels blew up five school buildings that were to house security personnel during the polls there.

They also looted the belongings of RJD block president Chandrika Yadav after forcing his family members to vacate the house. Yadav was not present during the Maoists raid, said Palamau SP Jatin Narwal. “There is no report of casualty,” Narwal told The Indian Express.

The rebels also destroyed a three-storied government school building located between Khunti and Rania village in Khunti district, which would go to polls in the second round on December 2.

Campaigning in all the 14 Assembly constituencies that will go to polls in the second round concluded Monday evening, with most candidates preferring to confine their electioneering to market places and colonies located along the highways in their respective constituencies. None of the candidates ventured into areas with Maoist presence. The rebels have given a call to boycott the polls.

Meanwhile, the Election Commission has issued a fresh notification giving a new date for polling in Barkatha. Following the death of BJP MLA Chitranjan Yadav, the polling has now been rescheduled to December 18 instead of December 2.

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