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Orissa: Rebels back tribal unrest over arrests

Posted by Admin on September 11, 2009

A landmine blast

Bhubaneswar, Sept. 10: Supporting an ongoing tribal agitation demanding release of 30 suspected Maoists, rebels triggered a series of blasts late last night and called a 24-hour shutdown today.

Twenty armed rebels blew up railway tracks on the Rourkela-Barasua route and damaged another at Roxy station hitting train services between Rourkela and Barasua. “Landmines were detonated at eight places between Bimlagarh and Patasahi. Explosions were also triggered at an abandoned police outpost, a community centre, a Centre of Indian Trade Unions office and at a Durga mandap at Kalta and Toda,” said Rourkela SP Diptesh Pattnaik.

A truck parked outside a government office was torched. “Explosions were also heard at K-Balang,” said Bishnu Parasad Sahu, inspector-in-charge of K-Balang station. However, no one was hurt.

Rebels allegedly kidnapped five railway staff, including the Topadihi stationmaster, under K-Balang police station area. “Five men are missing, but it is not sure if they were kidnapped or went into hiding,” said Sahu.

Meanwhile, roadblocks by mostly tribal women, led by Biramitrapur MLA George Tirkey, on NH-23 between Rourkela and Barkot entered its third day today. Tribals from 11 villages under Chandiposh area continued to block Rourkela-Bimlagarh railway route disrupting transportation of ore to Rourkela Steel Plant.

The arrested men were mainly from Silapunji and Mundapali villages. Meanwhile, Rajgangpur and Bonai MLAs have lent their support to the agitation.

In Bhubaneswar, activists, led by president of Orissa unit of Lok Shakti Abhiyan Rabi Das, approached the Human Rights Commission seeking its intervention and submitted a memorandum to the commission. TT

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