TAMIL NADU

Naxal bid to blast rly. station fails

ADILABAD DEC. 7. Naxalites of the banned People's War made a vain bid to blast the Mandamarri railway station on the arterial Kazipet-Ballarshah section of South Central Railway in the early hours of today but set ablaze the office records and furniture following the unsuccessful attempt.

Having failed in their attempt, the naxals snatched two walkie-talkie sets from the railway staff and cut the telephone wire before leaving the place. As a result, train services on the Mandamarri-Ballarshah section was disrupted for a few hours.

Reports reaching here said that 15-member armed naxals, believed to be People's Guerrilla Army cadre, first went into the office of the Assistant Station Master, Kishan, and forcibly took him to a nearby temple and made him sit there. They enquired with the railway staff whether anyone was carrying a cellular phone. The naxals also asked the other employees to vacate the station and go out.

The naxals, in olive green uniform, took out two buckets full of explosives and drew wires to some distance and tried to blast the building. The explosives did not go off forcing them to abandon their plan. They then turned their ire on the office records and furniture. They picked up the records and collected the furniture poured kerosene and set them ablaze.

They snatched two Motorola manpack sets from the ASM and a guard of the goods train, which was waiting at the railway station. Before leaving the place, the naxals cut off the railway telephone communication and the regular telephone lines. They spent about 20 minutes at the station in their bid to blow up the railway station.

The Bellampalli Additional SP, Vijay Kumar, who visited the scene along with the Bellampalli DSP, G.Satyanarayana, said apart from 15 naxals, who came to the station, seven others reportedly waited in ambush near a culvert for the police personnel.

The Superintendent of police, Mahesh Muralidhar Bhagwat, told The Hindu, that the PGA had made a vain bid to blast the railway station to make their presence felt. Train services were disrupted for some time and several long distance trains were detained at various stations.

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