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Maoists blow up forest guest house, torch 8 vehicles in Seraikela

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Jamshedpur, June 24: CPI-Maoist ultras torched as many as eight vehicles and blew up two old forest department buildings near a dam construction site at Harangda village under the Kharsawan police station area in the adjoining Seraikela-Kharsawan district on Thursday midnight.

According to information, one of the two forest buildings the rebels blew up was renovated recently for use as a police picket.

About 20 armed rebels led by local area commander of CPI-Maoist Mahraj Pramanik launched the attack at around 12.30 a.m. and had fled the spot within an hour during which they torched the vehicles used in the dam construction work, blowing up the forest buildings by using IED.

The rebels also resorted to poster campaigning on the trees and also on the torched vehicles. In the posters, the rebels declared that they wanted   rehabilitation of the dam (read Suru dam) area evicted villagers.

Seraikela-Kharsawan superintendent of police Indrajeet Mahatha said that the attack took place close at Harangda village, about 3 km away from Riring village, where a CRPF camp is located and 7 km away from Kharsawan police station.

“We are investigating the incident and have launched an operation. During the attack, the rebels also tried to assault two villagers and snatched away their cell phones, “said Mahatha.

The vehicles which were set ablaze were involved for construction of a dam along Suru River. The torched vehicles included four dumpers, one excavator, two bulldozers and a trailer. The vehicles belonged to a Hyderabad-based construction firm, Vasishta Constructions Private Limited.

As the news of the attack spread, deputy inspector general (DIG), Kolhan, Sambhu Thakur, Seraikela-Kharsawan superintendent of police, Indrajeet Mahtha and additional SP, K.V. Raman rushed to the site to take stock of the situation in the morning. Soon after the carrying out the inspection, DIG Thakur had ordered for a combing operation in the adjoining forest areas.

Mahatha, when queried, said that the dam construction work has begun at the site from October last year, and ever since the work began they had been providing security to the workers and also to the vehicles used in the construction work.

“We had ensured strict vigil. About 40 armed policemen used to go to the construction site every morning and remained there at the site till evening. 

But, since the past two days, the firm had not brought the vehicles back to the police station.  As there was no security cover, the rebels got an opportunity to attack,” said Mahatha.

Meanwhile, the administration has increased police patrolling on the bordering areas connecting to West Bengal and has also deployed adequate number of paramilitary personnel on areas potential to rebels attack. 

“Every effort will be made to maintain law and order and to ensure security of the people. This time all security forces have also been alerted to remain vigilant, particularly against IEDs and landmines,” said another official.

All the police stations in the three districts of the Kolhan division including East and West Singhbhum and Seraikela Kharswan have been asked to beef up the security and keep a vigil at the bordering areas.

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