Maoist rampage near Rourkela hits rly

TNN, Jan 10
ROURKELA: Maoists went on the rampage on the outskirts of Rourkela city here on Saturday night. They blew up a railway signal cabin and damaged some parts of railway tracks on the Mumbai-Howrah rail route, paralyzing rail service on this route for several hours.

The Maoist also attempted to blow up a couple of other places, including the abandoned Jairekela police outpost. However, those bomb failed to go off.

After a major search operation, police and bomb squad recovered at least three bombs from the railway tracks. Trains were detained at different stations as a search operation was on along the tracks. Train services were resumed only after security officials gave their clearance. However, all the trains on this route got delayed by at least five to six hours. “Train services, which was interrupted due to the Maoist attack for about nine hours, resumed after the security officials gave their clearance,” said a senior railway official.

Sources said a group of about 50 armed Maoists entered the Bondamunda-A Cabin, about 6 km from Rourkela city, about 12.30 am on Saturday night and asked the railway officials present there to evacuate the cabin and its vicinity. Only two officials were present in the cabin at that time. On seeing the armed rebels, they panicked and left the place immediately. The Maoists had planted a landmine that blew up the cabin completely. The signal system present in the cabin was damaged.

The Maoists had also attempted to damage the Link-B and Link-C cabins in a similar manner. But both the cabins were only partially damaged since the landmine had very limited effect on them.

The Maoists also intercepted a railway engine coming towards Rourkela and attempted to blow up through a bomb, after vacating the driver and support staff from the engine. They also tried to blow up railway tracks on Mumbai-Howrah and Rourkela-Hatia route by planting a few bombs, which also failed to go off.

According to sources, prior to reaching Bondamunda, the rebel group attempted to blow up an abandoned police outpost at Jareikela and Tehesil office at Bisra. But they were unsuccessful in both the cases as the land mine used in both these incidents had now worked to their full effect. Minor cracks appeared in both the buildings, which were, however, not noticeable.

CRPF, Railway police force and local police officers reached the spot after the Maoists left the location and started a search operation. “During our operation, we recovered some live bombs and wires that were used for the landmine explosion,” said DIG ( WR) Y Jethua.

A large number of Maoist literature was also recovered from different locations. The posters clearly condemned the alleged police action against the tribals of the district under the pretext of anti-Maoist operation. The posters also demanded immediate release of Binayak Sen, noted human rights activist, recently sentenced to jail by a Chhattishgarh court. The poster also voiced their opposition to the ” Operation Green Hunt”.

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