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Maoists on offensive, derail trains, kill cop

Last updated on: March 23, 2010 12:48 IST
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It has been a bloody Tuesday. From Orissa to West Bengal to Jharkhand to Bihar, the Maoists are on a rampage.

In Bihar's Gaya, the Naxals blasted rail tracks, leaving the New-Delhi Bhubaneswar-New Delhi Rajdhani Express derailed, besides sending the country's rail traffic for a toss. In Jharkhand, the banned outfit gunned down a policeman. In West Bengal's Midnapore, the rebels killed a Communist Party of India-Marxist leader. Maoists also triggered two blasts between Birsa and Bongomunda stations near Rourkela of Orissa in the early hours, disrupting train services on the Mumbai-Howrah route.

A 48-hour Maoist-called bandh is on in Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and three districts of Maharashtra to protest against the Operation Green Hunt launched by the Centre.

In Bihar:

Passengers on board the Rajdhani Express had a miraculous escape when ten of its coaches and the engine derailed near Gaya station following an explosion triggered by the Maoists, police said.

The accident took place late last night between Kasta and Paraiya stations under Gaya-Mughalsarai section of the East Central Railway, the police said.

Rail traffic was disrupted in the section since midnight last night as cranes were engaged to remove the affected bogies, railway sources said.

Passengers were taken to Mughalsarai by a rescue train from where a special train was arranged to send them to New Delhi, they said.

The explosive planted in the tracks between Kasta and Paraiya stations went off shortly after the train left Gaya station, district Superintendent of Police Sushil Khopde said, adding a medical team with rescue train was sent to the spot.

There was no casualty or serious injury, Khopde said, adding none of the derailed bogies fell on its side which possibly was the reason why no casualty took place.

Over 42 trains were affected, they said. Important affected trains include New Delhi-Sealdah Rajdhani Express, Kalka Express and Shaktipunj Express.

Meanwhile, Maoists triggered two blasts between Birsa and Bongomunda stations near Rourkela in the wee hours on Tuesday, disrupting train services on the Mumbai-Howrah route

A goods train passing the area derailed after the two successive blasts, railway officials said. Train services in the down line were badly disrupted while trains in the Mumbai-Howrah route were suspended due to the blast, they said.

In Jharkhand:

A policeman was on Tuesday gunned down by Maoists in Jharkhand's Sareikela-Kharsawan district as their shutdown entered the second day.

The rebels fired indiscriminately on a police patrolling team near Chouka police station in Sareikela around 1.30 am, killing a policeman on the spot, police said in Ranchi.

The policeman was identified as Kalicharan Bodra. The Maoists melted away into the forests after a strong retaliatory action by securitymen, police said.

Security forces have launched raids in the area even as deployment of forces are in place at strategic locations to keep a strict vigil during the shutdown that ends tonight.

Several express trains have been diverted through the Mugalsarai-Gomo route, they said.

In West Bengal:

A Communist Party of India-Marxist leader was shot dead by Maoists in Jhargram in West Midnapore district, police said today.

Hemanta Pradhan (45) secretary of the CPI-M's local committee at Dhanghori, was forcibly taken out of his house last night by a group of 20-25 armed Maoists and shot dead.

His bullet-riddled body was spotted by the police and local villagers this morning near Kuldiha area.

In Orissa:

Maoists triggered two blasts between Birsa and Bongomunda stations near Rourkela in the wee hours on Tuesday, disrupting train services on the Mumbai-Howrah route

A goods train passing the area derailed after the two successive blasts, railway officials said. Train services in the down line were badly disrupted while trains in the Mumbai-Howrah route were suspended due to the blast, they said. 

Meanwhile, three suspected Maoists were arrested from Sundargarh district of Orissa, police said on Tuesday. The Maoists, identified as Pintus Panda (60) and Sabir Hussain (28), were arrested by the joint security forces last night in Karada forest, about 40 km from Rourkela, when they were moving in a suspicious manner, they said.

Another suspected Maoist, Binod Munda, was also arrested from Topadih on the first day of the two-day bandh called by the Maoists on Monday. The bandh continued for the second day today affecting normal life in rural pockets of Maoist-prone areas of the district.

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