Daily Archives: April 24, 2013

Maoists torch cellphone towers

Maoists blew up two mobile towers of a private telecom operator in the Gandhamardhan mountain range on Monday night. The tower were in Bargarh’s Purena village and Balangir’s Rengali village. Police could reach the spot only on Tuesday due to security concerns.

SDPO (Padmapur) Parul Gupta said “Last night incident is a desperate attempt by Maoists to divert the minds of people. We have already intensified combing operation to drive them out.” Around 15 Maoists were involved in it, she said.

SDPO (Patnagarh) Sunil Joshi said it was done to create panic among people and disrupt communication in remote areas of Balangir district.

According to him, about 20 armed Maoists came to the village and set the tower on fire. We have deployed additional force and started a probe.

Lower Suktel Dam: Villagers, Maoists take contrast stand

Hundreds of villagers supporting the Lower Suktel irrigation project on Tuesday blocked Balangir-Patnagarh road at Dhulusar Chhack for more than one hour.

Sudam Dharua of Telenpali village, who led the agitators, said local tribals are supporting construction of the lower Suktel irrigation dam, but some ‘outsiders with vested interest’ have been creating disturbances. They presented a memorandum in this regard to the Sub-Collector.

In another incident, Maoists blew up telecommunication towers in Rengali village under Khaprakhol block of Balangir district and Puruna bus stand in Paikmal of Bargarh district in protest against the Suktel project.

In the posters left behind by the Maoists at both the spots, they threatened the district administrative officials of dire consequences if they go ahead with the project. “Construction of this dam is being undertaken without any discussion on the rehabilitation and resettlement of villagers who would be displaced by the project. This is illegal and we protest this decision of the Government,” stated the posters signed by Balangir-Bargarh Mahasamundi Regional Committee of CPI (Maoists).

The Maoists asked the officials concerned to stop the construction works immediately. This apart, they demanded hike of wages of kendu leaf pluckers.