Staff Reporter

A major police signal post at Meghansini attacked

Cash stolen from iron safe at the forest office

Some tourists also robbed of their valuables

BHUBANESWAR: Left wing extremists mounted attacks on offices of State forest department and vital police communication installation inside Similipal Tiger Reserve (STR) in Mayurbhanj district on Saturday night.

While a few police personnel were missing in the deep forest, extremists let off personnel of the forest department.

Offices were set on fire. A major police signal post situated in a higher altitude at Meghansini inside the STR was said to be attacked by naxalites. Since Saturday night, police communication in Mayurbhanj and Balasore was severely hit after signal post was damaged. Three police personnel of wireless, who usually man the post that is located in one of the remotest forest.

According to STR director Nagaraj Reddy, forest range offices at Chahala, Dudruchampa and Barakamuda were attacked by armed extremists in late evening on Saturday.

Main motive

They had broken open iron-chest and looted available cash. However, they could not lay hands on arms as forest department had deposited arms in the district armoury a few days ago, Mr. Reddy said, adding that their main motive was behind attack seemed to be looting arms and cash.

Some tourists, who were camping in Chahala, a scenic place inside STR were asked to hand over valuables like cash, cell-phone sets and watches.

Sources in the forest department said attackers were speaking in Hindi and broken Oriya language with accent of tribal dialect.

Police department officials said they might have sneaked to Orissa border from neighbouring Jharkhand State.

Mr. Reddy said they came in groups comprising 15 to 20 extremists, many of them were women.

After attacking government establishments, they feld under the cover of darkness. Left wing extremists were suspected to be roaming in Bangiriposi area.

This was not the first time attack of such scale was witnessed in Mayurbjhanj district.

Naxalite activities have been visible in the Gorumahisani, Jharpokharia, Bangiriposi, Bisoi, and Chirang police station areas.