Maoists loot forest range office, set ablaze vehicles

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Sambalpur, Jan 5 (UNI) Suspected Maoists have looted the forest range office at Badarama and decamped with cash and ornaments worth Rs 50,000 from forester Kahnu Charan Nath yesterday.

Police today said more than 15 armed Maoists, including four girls, raided the Badarama Forest Range office, 40 km from here, under Jamankira police station last night.

They looted the official revolver, a walkie-talkie of the department and threatened the wife of the forester to ensure that her husband behaved well with the people of the nearby villages.

They also set fire to 15 vehicles, which included 14 vehicles, seized by the department for illegally transporting timbers, forest official sources said.

When contacted Sambalpur Superintendent of Police Sanjaya Kumar said the possibility of the timber smugglers involved in the looting could not be ruled out.

He said the dacoits might have given Maoist colour to the incident to mislead police investigation.

Police had launched a combing operation after the incident.

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