Bhubaneswar, June 22: After a brief lull, Maoist violence again shook up the two districts of the state last night.
While in western Deogarh district, Naxalites killed three villagers, in the southern Koraput district they set fire to a goods train.
The rebels killed three villagers suspecting them police informer in two remote villages of Deograh on Thursday night. Police said about 20 armed Maoists entered the villages and dragged out the suspects. After laying them on the main street with their hands tied, they hacked them to death. Relatives of the victims were also injured in the incident.
At Ranigola village, 70km from district headquarters, the Maoist killed Harischandra Nayak (33) and Bhubaneswar Nayak (60), while in the neighbouring Telikusum village, they killed Mahi Pradhan (32).
“Superintendent of police Safin Ahmed has rushed to the village today. As the location is quite remote, we are not able to establish any contact with him. We even don’t know how the villagers were killed,” said a staff at the Deograh SP office over the phone.
However, a senior police official said the killings could have been due to a caste rivalry. “Those killed are from the Gond community and it is suspected that the Oram ultras in the Maoist group might have killed them for caste rivalry,” he said.
Chief minister Naveen Patnaik has expressed his condolence for the family and has announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each to the families of the deceased.
Last night, the ultras also set fire to a goods train at Jarliput railway station in Koraput districts. In Jarliput station, the Maoists are believed to have set off the explosion by landmines. Two unexploded landmines remained trapped under the bogies for which bomb-disposal squads have been called from Visakhapatnam, GRP sources said.
“A railway engine and four goods carriages were damaged due to the violence on the wee hours of Friday,” said East Coast railway sources.
The ultras have also looted VHF sets from the station. Railway SP Rourkela Satrughna Parida has rushed to the spot for inspection.
Sources said Maoist had distributed leaflets at some villagers in Deogarh on June 10. The rebels have reportedly warned of violence unless kendu leaf-pluckers were given their due wages.
Four Maoists were killed in the district after an encounter with the police on July 3 last year. On April 18 last year, police had claimed death of two Naxalites in an encounter in Barkhol forests of the district.