RAYAGADA/BHUBANESWAR: Left Wing Extremists late on Thursday night attacked Dahikhal (Daikallu) railway station in Rayagada district where they carried out two blasts.
A group of about 20 armed cadres stormed the railway station, located about 10 km from Muniguda, and took Station Master Sanjib Parida and porter Govind Hikaka under captivity shortly after midnight.
They demanded extortion money from Parida and Hikaka. When Parida refused, the duo was taken to one end of the platform. The Maoists planted an IED inside the Station Master’s office and triggered it. The radicals also caused a similar explosion in the cabin of the engine of a bauxite laden train which was parked at the station. Daikallu station is under Amobodola police limits and comes under Sambalpur Railway Division.
At least 10 armed Maoists got inside Parida’s office chamber while the rest including women members guarded the station. The Maoists kept the entire railway platform under their control for 45 minutes and remained in the village upto 3 am.
The Naxals also forced the Railway staff to raise slogans against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
Before they left, the Red rebels released the Station Master and the porter but snatched two walkie-talkies. They also left behind posters in which Maoists urged people to protest visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the State next month for the BJP’s national executive.
In the posters, the rebels protested the anti-Naxal operations and loot of natural resources in the tribal districts. They also raised the issue of non-Odia officers being preferred not only in the para military forces but also in State cadre IPS.
The incident paralysed movement of goods and passenger trains as Rayagada SP Siva Subramani and East Coast Railway Officials rushed to the spot on Friday morning. The ECoR officials said all the Railway staff were safe. Movement of goods train started at about 9 am with speed restriction. An hour later, Express train movement resumed on the route.
Rayagada district has been put on high alert while Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik took stock of the situation at a meeting with Chief Secretary AP Padhy and DGP KB Singh.
Naveen has directed that combing operations be intensified. Recently, the Naxal outfit had brutally killed one Mali Pushika of Salphajhola village under Muniguda police limits.
Bunty, originally Bauribandhu Sethi who operates the Odisha State Committee of CPI (Maoist) along with Dikisha in Niyamgiri hills, is believed to be behind the attack.