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Rediff.com  » News » Orissa: Maoists strike before Chidamabaram's visit

Orissa: Maoists strike before Chidamabaram's visit

Last updated on: June 25, 2009 13:39 IST
Hours before the visit of Union Home Minister P Chidambaram, Maoists struck in a big way attacking a railway station, damaging communication towers and looting a block office in Orissa's Koraput district on Thursday.

The armed Maoists descended on the Kakiriguma railway station and ransacked it besides damaging the control panel which affected train movement on Rayagada-Koraput section.

Following the incident, the Bhubaneswar-Koraput Hirakhand Express was held up at Rayagada while a couple of other passenger and goods trains were also affected.

The ultras then blew up three mobile phone towers inlcuding one belonging to the BSNL at Kakiriguma using landmines.

Another large group of ultras swooped down on the block office, 530 km away at Narayanpatna, which has been witnessing heightened Maoist activity in recent weeks.

They caused extensive damage to the building besides destroying furniture and setting ablaze official files. The Maoists also damaged two computers and took away 42 bicycles from the office.

They raised slogans against the Centre's decision to proscribe the Communist Party of India-Maoist

Security personnel were rushed to the area and combing operation launched as the Union home minister is slated to commence his two-day visit to the state from the Maoist-affected Koraput district on Thursday afternoon.

The Maoists had cut off all communication to Narayanpatna since June 15 by felling trees on the roads connecting the town.

They also triggered a landmine explosion on June 18 killing nine securitymen when they were trying to clear the blockades.

About 400 security personnel, including Central Reserve Police Force jawans, had remained cut off at Narayanpatna and helicopters were used to airlift food and additional forces there on Tuesday.

During his one-day visit to Koraput, Chidambaram would talk to SPs of Malkangiri, Rayagada, Nawrangpur and Koraput districts and visit the location of a upcoming CoBRA Battalion Centre.

Chidambaram was also scheduled to visit relief camps in Kandhamal district tomorrow where riots and attacks against Christians had taken place earlier.

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