Maoists set fire to telephone exchange

KORAPUT: Maoists set fire to a BSNL telephone exchange and destroyed a mobile tower at Bandhugaon in Koraput district on Saturday, the second day of the two-day bandh called by the Andhra Odisha Border Special Zonal Committee of the CPI (Maoist).

The Maoists had called a 48-hour bandh demanding the withdrawal of central forces, stoppage of operation Green Hunt and release of their jailed activists on Friday.

According to sources, a group of armed Maoists with some local supporters swooped down on the telephone exchange at Almonda in Bandhugaon police station area, about 100 km from here, around 3 am.

“They asked the night watchman to vacate the place before setting fire to the machineries of the telephone exchange. Later, they torched the battery room of a mobile tower beside the exchange,” a source at Bandhugaon said.

“The Maoists have not used explosives in the offensive. No Maoist poster or banner was spotted from the crime spot. No injury or casualty has been reported. Our men have reached the spot and investigation is on,” said SDPO Laxmipur Y J Rao. Meanwhile, Narayanpatna remained cut-off from the rest of the state for the second consecutive day on Saturday owing to road blockades put up by the Red rebels.

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