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Maoists torch police station building, abduct policeman

Bhubaneswar, July 8 (Calcutta Tube) Maoists set furniture and other stuff inside a police building on fire in Orissa’s Keonjhar district and abducted a police officer, officials said Thursday, the second day of the shutdown called by the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) in six states.

About 30-40 armed rebels, including several women cadres, attacked the building late Wednesday at the mining town of Daitari, about 150 km from here.

The rebels ransacked the building and damaged the furniture before setting it on fire.

‘Only an assistant sub-inspector of police (ASI) and a constable were there at the police station building,’ Inspector General of Police (Operation) Sanjeev Marik told IANS.

The rebels abducted the police officer but the constable managed to escape, he said.

Maoists also set a forest beat house located in front of the building on fire, Marik said.

Combing operation have been intensified in the area, District Superintendent of Police A.K. Singh told IANS.

Although the police station of the area is located at nearby Brahmanipal town, the building at Daitari was being used as an extension of the police station to receive complaints related to only civil cases, he said.

The CPI-Maoist called a shutdown Wednesday and Thursday to protest the killing of their top leader Cherukuri Rajkumar alias Azad in an alleged shootout July 2 in Andhra Pradesh.

The rebels claim that police killed Azad in a staged gunfight after arresting him in Nagpur in Maharashtra.

Road and rail services were hit in the interiors of Orissa. Traffic was thin in some areas of Malkangiri and Rayagada districts as heavy vehicles went off the road. Government buses were not plying in Rayagada district.

The movement of vehicles in some area of Kandhamal district was also disrupted as the rebels blocked several roads by felling trees.

However, life was unaffected in most parts of the state. Except the attack on Daitari police building and forest beat, there were no reports of any untoward incidents in the state, Marik said.

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