Two Maoist cadres held in Kandhamal

Berhampur: A 45-year-old Maoist cadre was arrested on Wednesday on charges of being involved in the recent landmine blast at Srirampur in Kandhamal’s Kotagarh police station area.

Somanath Pradhan of Janabadi village in Daringibadi police station area was the second person arrested on Wednesday in connection with the January 5 offensive which killed three policemen and injured as many. Kandhamal SP J N Pankaj said both he and Junes Pradhan, the chairman of the Daringibadi panchayat samiti, were involved in the landmine blast.

Police had arrested Junes Pradhan from his house at Greenbadi near Daringibadi police station on Monday last. “We have gathered sufficient evidence against them before arresting them,” the SP added. Police also suspected involvement of several other local people in the incident. They would be arrested very soon, police said.

On the other hand, police arrested another Maoist cadre, Sukadev Digal, from Sipazu in Raikia police station area on Tuesday. At least six Maoist posters were seized from him, police said. Police however ruled out Digal’s involvement in the Srirampur incident.

Meanwhile, during combing operation, security personnel on Wednesday found two more landmines near Srirampur, the same place where the blast happened the last week.

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