Maoists admit role in Malkangiri blast

The CPI(Maoist) Malkangiri division committee has claimed responsibility for the February 10 landmine blast on Balimela-Chitrakonda road in Malkangiri that killed BSF Commandant Jeevan Ram Kaswan, Deputy Commandant Rajesh Sharan, Inspector Ashok Yadav and Assistant S-I Jitendra Sahu.

In a 10-page press release, written in Oriya and signed by secretary of divisional committee Poonam Chandar, the rebels accused the government of pushing Operation Greenhunt for protecting corporate interests.

“In the last two-three years, our leaders Azad, Kishenji, Sooryam, Sakhamuri Apparao and others have been killed by security forces in false encounters… In Malkangiri, three BSF battalions have declared war on poor tribals in the name of Operation Greenhunt. There are 14 such camps in Malkangiri. What is the purpose of deploying BSF inside the country instead of border areas…,” it said.

They alleged that BSF personnel attacked tribals in Onigel village in which eight people were hurt, and in Andral, Bonda tribals were assaulted by jawans. “Hydroelectric projects like Balimela and Machhkund that benefit corporates, have displaced thousands of people. Bauxite mines of Nalco in Damanjodi and Hindustan Aeronautics in Sunabeda have caused immense loss to tribals. In Narayanpatna block of Koraput, tribals are fighting for their land rights,” it said.

The Maoists, however, apologised for injuring two officials of Potteru irrigation project, saying the cadres mistook them as police officials.

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