Naxals torch one more panchayat, take over Jharipatti theatre

NAGPUR: The helplessness of the Gadchiroli administration was reflected in the voice of local Member of the Legislative Assembly of Armori constituency Anandrao Gedam on Tuesday.

The MLA said ‘every system in the district has collapsed’. “Naxals are calling the shots here and not the government machinery. The population is at the mercy of the Naxals, as police seem to have lost the battle completely,” he said.

The rebels in the Naxal-affected Gadchiroli district of eastern Vidarbha struck for the second time within 72 hours in the wee hours of Tuesday to protest the gunning down Mallujola Koteshwar Rao, alias Kishanji, last week in the forest of Junglemahal by security forces.

A band of around 150 Naxals barged into the Vairagadh gram panchayat soon after midnight. They first gutted the local self government building of Vairagadh in Armori taluka, around 55km away from Gadchiroli, leading to a loss of around Rs1 crore.

The rebels torched the furniture and documents in four rooms, including those of the secretary, sarpanch and a meeting hall. The Naxals decamped with two computers while one was damaged in the fire at the panchayat office at Vairagadh.

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