Maoists torch 14 vehicles in Orissa

Mohana, (Orissa), Dec.23 (ANI): A group of unidentified Maoists set ablaze, 14 vehicles and damaged a mobile communication tower near Mohana village in Orissa's Gajapati District.

On Wednesday, the Maoists targeted the makeshift camp of the ARSS Infrastructure Projects Limited, a private firm that is engaged in the construction of major roads in the region.

The ARSS has taken up the contract for construction of 102.9 kilometres stretch of road of the State Highway 134.

Praful Kumar Behera, Inspector in-charge of Mohana Police Station, said before escaping, the Maoists had cut down trees to block roads and stop the security forces from reaching the spot of their targeted site.

"I got the information over phone from a known person that some ARSS vehicles are burnt. I deployed Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) there. We first cleared the path and removed the trees from the way. We did not recover any arms from the site and the investigation is till on," said Behera.

Radha Krishna, a driver, said the attack by the Maoists has left them scared and also mentioned they have received a letter from the Maoists demanding stoppage of work in the various projects.

"We stay at Mohana town. When we came here, our vehicle was burnt and the Communist Party of India (CPI) Maoists had left behind the poster asking us to stop the work. We are still scared. But after all, this was our vehicle and how could we leave it, we spent a lot of money for this, so we came to see," said Radha Krishna.

"Government work is affected but this also is the hindrance to the societal work which will further hamper the development work," said Pravat Ranjan, a villager.

Seven tippers, two road-rollers, two mixers, a water tanker, a grader, and an excavator were destroyed completely in the attack.

No one was injured as vehicle drivers and the watchman fled from the spot fearing for their lives. By Sarada Lahangir (ANI)

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