Report by Kishore Dash & Deba Prasad Dash; Malkangiri: In a daring broad daylight incident, the armed Maoists set fervent an Essar company vehicle near Pallankray village in Ralegada panchyat under Chitrakonda police limits on Wednesday.
The incident reportedly took place at about 3.00 pm, when a 7-member group of Essar company officials from Chhattisgarh visited the area in a Tata Sumo vehicle to get repair the company under ground pipe line damaged by the rebels a couple of days back.
A group of more than 50 rebels armed with sophisticated weapons who had the earlier information about the visit of the Essar officials, were waiting at the approach road leading to Pallankray village. When, the vehicle was about to pass through the village, the Maoists intercepted it and asked all the seven officials including the driver to get down, sources said.
Than the rebels took the entire officials hostage in a nearby area and set the vehicle on fire after pouring petrol on it. All the hostages were later released hours after the incident. The rebels were in military uniforms and were speaking in Oriya and Hindi, said an eyewitness to the incident.
The Maoist rebels were torched the vehicle just hours after the Border Security Force Director General U.K.Bansal, IG S.A.Khadar, Koraput based DIG S.K.Barua left Balimela on Wednesday.
The DG visited the Balimela based 107th Battalion of BSF in forenoon and held a meeting in camera with the officials there over the strategy to be adopted to counter the growing Maoist menace in the region.