Staff Reporter

They decide not to ply buses through naxal affected areas

BERHAMPUR: The drivers and conductors of the Orissa State Road Transport Corporation (OSRTC) have decided not to ply their buses through naxal affected areas of Gajapati and Rayagada districts till they were provided adequate security.

This decision was taken at an emergency meeting of the Berhampur zone unit of their union on Monday. Similar decision was also taken by the Jeypore unit of their union. According to the adviser of the union, Upendranath Mishra they had to take this decision after Maoists torched four OSRTC buses at Raipanka in Gajapati district on Sunday night. It may be noted that OSRTC buses are major sources of communication in naxal infested districts of south Orissa.

As per reports the drivers and conductors of Jeypore zone in Koraput district have staged demonstration demanding proper security during their travel through naxal infested areas.

Mr. Mishra said till Monday evening, they had no news regarding eight drivers and conductors who had faced wrath of naxals at Raipanka.

They included drivers like Narayan Sahu, Kalu Charan Gouda, Rabi Mahakuda, Sambhu Nanda, Chandan Panda, Bikram Sethi and conductors like Dhwaja Sahu and Tarini Padhi.

“We have no news about their whereabouts and police is not confirming whether they were abducted by naxals or not,” the union leaders said.

Mr. Mishra said the family members of these drivers and conductors were in a panicked state. So, the union wanted proper security for the safety of staff and passengers of the OSRTC buses that pass through naxal infested areas. They have decided not to travel through naxal infested areas of Rayagada and Gajapati districts till adequate security measures were arranged.