M A I N   N E W S

Maoists strike as PC visits Orissa
Blow up railway station, loot block office

CM meets top Army officer

Upset over spurt in Maoist attacks in Orissa, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today met a top Army official of the Central Command, triggering speculation that the state was seeking army help to tackle the menace. “We are ready to provide any kind of help to the state it wants,” Commanding Officer of Army’s Central command Lt Gen JK Mohanty told reporters after the meeting. On the possible intervention by army in Koraput, he said, “It is a political decision.”

Bhubaneswar, June 25
Maoist guerrillas on Thursday blew up a railway building and damaged three mobile phone towers in Orissa’s Koraput district, hours before Home Minister P Chidambaram visited the district to review security preparedness, officials said.

At least 125 villages in the district have been cut off from the rest of the state since June 16 after Maoists rebels felled more than 30 trees on three roads that connect the region to the district headquarters of Koraput, some 500 kms from here.

Chidambaram arrived in Koraput in the evening and “visited district armory,” a district police official said. He held discussions with top state police and security officials.

Hours before his arrival, rebels destroyed the control rooms of three mobile phone towers and blasted a railway station building at Kakiriguma village, some 45 km from the district headquarters of Koraput, district police chief Deepak Kumar said.

According to an East Coast Railway official, five to six Maoists came to the Kakiriguma railway station early Thursday and forcibly took away the station manager and other staff on duty some distance away.

“They blew up the railway station building. As a result, two battery rooms, a panel board and the relay room of the railway station got severely damaged,” ECR spokesman MD Sahu said, adding no railway official was injured. “There is no communication with the station from railway control room. Some trains on the route have been terminated and a few cancelled,” Sahu said.

The tribal-populated Koraput district is considered a Maoist stronghold.

In another incident, rebels Wednesday attacked a government office at Narayan Patna --- 60 km away from Kakiriguma and destroyed the office records. They also looted computers, vehicles and food materials, the police officer said. Officials say the Wednesday and Thursday attacks may be a reaction to the government ban on the Communist Party of India-Maoist.



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