The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Rayagada tense

Berhampur, Nov. 28: The killing of Rayagada BJD leader Jajati Keshari Sahu, allegedly by Naxalites on Tuesday, has sparked panic among landlords of Naira village in Padampur block of the district, reports our correspondent.

Sahu’s killing was reportedly aimed at triggering a fear psychosis among landowners, who the Naxalites allege are exploiting landless tribals. Last year, the Kui Lewanga Sangh, a Naxalite organisation led by rebel Sabyasachi Panda, had prodded the tribals of Gudari and Padmapur into forcefully harvesting crop from fields belonging to landlords.

, plunging the area into tension.

Police had found pamphlets issued by the rebels near the body of Sahu in Naira. The pamphlets asked the landlords to scrap cases slapped by them against the tribals on charges of forcefully harvesting crops.

A few weeks ago, Naxalites had released a “hit list” of landlords opposing them, including the slain Jajati.

Some journalists from Rayagada received letters from one Krishna, “secretary” of the Nagavali regional committee of the People’s War group, in which he threatened to loot mills if rice was not provided free in the drought-hit tribal areas of Rayagada district. Security has been beefed up following Sahu’s killing, a top police official today said.

Ganja drive: Gajapati district police, along with Excise officials, yesterday destroyed ganja plantations worth nearly Rs 2 crore in the R. Udaygiri block.

Police sources said the ganja plantations were spread over 30 acres near Gangapur and Pitapur villages. The narcotic fields are in a remote area, with no motorable road. “We had to walk for six kilometres through hilly terrain to reach the plantations,” a police official said. Nearly 60 people were engaged in the operation.

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