Sunday, June 24, 2007

Naxal attacks rocks the state

Saturday June 23 2007 00:00 IST

BHUBANESWAR: Naxal violence rocked the State as an army of Maoists laid siege to a bordering town in Koraput district late on Thursday and blasted off a goods train engine before setting on fire office of the local railway station master.

Several hundred kilometres away in the northern district of Deograh, a separate group of extremists gunned down three persons including a contractor and a police informer.

The spate of incidents, occurring a few hours before Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik embarked on a tour to Rayagada on Friday, took the State Police by complete surprise while Director General of Police Amarananda Pattanayak closeted himself in a marathon meeting through the day.

In Koraput, the Naxals targeted Darliput, a small town barely two km from Andhra Pradesh border, to pull off a meticulously planned operation.

Over 40 heavily armed ultras descended at the local railway station at around 1 am. They are reported to have taken control of the railway station by capturing its station master.

They stopped a goods train and snatched walkie-talkie from its staff. Then a second train was forcibly halted and the ultras blasted off its engine using landmines, DIG South Western Range SK Nath said.

Before moving out, they set on flames the office of the station master. The incident triggered a wave of panic in the area. Security forces have rushed to the spot.

In Deogarh, the ultras struck in two adjoining villages on Thursday night. They abducted two residents of Ranigola village Bhubaneswar Nayak and Harischandra Nayak and their dead bodies were recovered in the morning.

Another person Mahi Pradhan, stated to be a contractor of Telikusum village, was also killed in a similar fashion by the ultras.

It's after a long gap that ultras have resurfaced in Deogarh. Last year, a spate of police had virtually driven them away from their territories.


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