Staff Reporter

Police unearth landmine planted under a track near Roxy station

BERHAMPUR: The two-day bandh call given by Maoists had its impact in naxal-infested districts of Orissa.

Police arrested a Maoist from Topodihi village under K. Balanga police station in Sundargarh district. The arrested naxal, Bimal Munda, was an elected panchayat samiti member, who was also accused in a recent murder in the area. The police personnel also unearthed a landmine planted under the railway track near Roxy station in the Sundergarh district. It was located before it could cause any harm.

In south Orissa the bandh call had its impact in Gajapati, Rayagada, Koraput and Malkangiri districts. The Orissa State Road Transport Corporation (OSRTC) buses remained off road in these districts. Road communication between Jeypore in Koraput district with other parts of the State via Rayagada district was stopped. But OSRTC continued its bus services between Jeypore and Berhampur via Andhra Pradesh. Only some private buses continued their services in these districts. But the bandh call had little impact on the normal life in these areas as most of the shops, banks, offices, educational institutes and business establishments remained open.

But the naxal-infested Narayanpatna block continued to remain cut off from outside world due to road blocks put by Maoists since Sunday. Telecommunication network with this block remained cut off. In Malkangiri district vehicular traffic in remote areas came to a standstill. Naxals cut down trees near MV37 village to block Malkangiri-Balimela road. The cut down trees also snapped power connection to several villages of the area since Sunday night.

Police here on Monday said one Bimal Munda was arrested late last night during combing operation from the village. He was involved in several criminal activities in Sundargarh district, including the murder of one Rabi Oram.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday said the Maoist bandh call was not going to deter the major anti-Maoist joint operation which is launched as per plans in six states including Orissa. It may be noted that the Maoist gave this 48-hour bandh call in six states, including Orissa, against this joint anti-naxal operation. “The Orissa government along with the Centre and other states has been making strategy to launch a joint operation against Maoists,” Mr. Patnaik told reporters in Bhubaneswar.