The officer was taken away by naxalites after attack on outpost

The Orissa police had no clues about the abducted police officer from Daitari, a mining town, in Keonjhar district where a police outpost was set on fire by naxalites on Wednesday night.

A massive manhunt was launched by the State police on Thursday after the major strike by cadres of CPI (Maoist) which was observing two-day bandh in protest against the death of their central committee member Azad in police encounter.

According Keonjhar district police, armed naxals raided the police outpost in Daitari and set it on fire on Wednesday evening. There were, however, no arms since the outpost which was functioning as police station at Daitari had already been shifted to nearby Brahmanipal. The abducted police officer was identified as Assistant Sub-Inspector Umesh Ch. Marandi.

“Local people saw militants taking away the ASI with them after the attack. The police outpost was attacked between 9.30 p.m. and 10.30 p.m. on Wednesday,” said Asish Kumar Singh Keonjhar, Superintendent of Police. Naxalites probably took Mr. Marandi with them to ensure their safe passage, a top police officer said.

Situation reviewed

Top officials, including Director-General of Police Manmohan Praharaj, visited the spot to take stock of the situation. Meanwhile, family members of Mr. Marandi made fervent plea for his release as he had no personal enmity with CPI (Maoist) cadres.

As per “unsubstantiated” letter left behind by Left radicals, the police official would be released on condition of release of other “innocent” persons lodged in different jails after being branded as Maoists.

Daitari is heart of mineral rich belt in the border of Keonjhar and Jajpur district. For past couple of years, the Left wing extremists have been operating in the region cashing in on anger brewing against “mindless” displacement and increasing differences between rich and poor.

Harichandanpur, which is adjoining Daitari belt, has been a CPI (Maoist)-affected area for quite sometime. People in several villages are fleeing to other regions apprehending escalation of Maoist violence in future.

  • The outpost was raided on Wednesday night
  • Family members of the officer made a plea for his release