Staff Reporter

Naxals convene a meeting of villagers before resorting to the act

Naxals paste posters on the walls of the damaged building

Two bandh calls given by Maoists causing concern

BERHAMPUR: Maoists blasted the office building and godown of Telarai panchayat under Kalimela police station limits in Malkangiri district on Friday night.

According to police sources, around 30 armed Maoists reached Telarai village around midnight. They forced all villagers to attend a meeting they organised in the village for their propaganda and to reinstate fear of naxal terror in their minds. Then they planted landmines inside the office building and the newly constructed godown and conference hall of the panchayat.

Villagers threatened

The buildings were severely damaged by the blasts. Before escaping the Maoists pasted posters on the walls of the damaged buildings. The posters claimed that these buildings were blasted as they were meant to act as shelter and camps of security forces for the anti-Maoist operation. The villagers were threatened with dire consequences if they helped the police.

On May 6 night Maoists had damaged the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) office at remote Kudumuluguma under Orkel police station in Malkangiri district. On the same night armed naxals attacked the house of a boat operator at Boleru under Motu police station to threaten him not to ferry police troops. On May 1 night Maoists had blasted rooms of a residential school for tribal girls at Dhepaguda in Narayanpatna block of Koraput district. In the past also Maoists damaged public property in remote areas like panchyat office and school buildings in Malkangiri district with the allegation that these buildings were used as camps for security personnel involved in anti-naxal operations.

The people of south Orissa are also worried about the two sudden bandh calls by the Maoists. The Basadara Divisional Committee of the banned CPI (Maoist) organisation has called a bandh call on May 21 in Koraput, Gajapati and Rayagada districts of south Orissa to protest against the ‘Operation green hunt'. Maoists murdered two village guards at Katama on Wednesday night and left the message for this bandh call near the bodies of their victims.

Now Maoist leader Kishenjihas announced a 48-hour shutdown in Orissa, Bihar, West Bengal, Jharkhand, and Chhattisgarh from May 18. As per reports this bandh call is to protest against the Centre's decision to sell 10 per cent government stake in 10 profit-making Public Sector Undertakings and handing over 15,000 acres of land to steel-making company POSCO in Orissa. It may be noted that Maoists had disrupted general life through a weeklong bandh call in south Orissa from April 24.