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Naxalites attack R Udayagiri town, gun down two constables

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Berhampur, Orissa, Mar 24: In a daring act, armed Naxalites attacked the Police station, sub jail, Tahasil office in R Udayagiri, about 110 kms from here in the wee hours today and gunned down two constables.

Police said nearly 70 armed Naxalites, 30 of them women, arrived in R Udayagiri town in a truck at about 0500 hours and attacked the police station.

The police force retaliated and the exchange of fire continued for over two hours in which two constables were killed and as many injured.

The Naxalites then went to the Sub Jail and exploded bombs, forcing the jail staff to open the gate in panic. The inmates of the Sub Jail managed to escape from the jail soon after the incident.

The left wing ultras also attacked the Tahasil office, a BSNL tower and an Inspection bunglow and kidnapped R Udayagiri Officer-in -charge Ranjan Mallick and Jail Superintendent Rabindra Narayan Sethy.

Police said at least four ultras were also injured in the exchange of fire but the Naxalites took the injured and left the town in another truck via Parimal. The two constables killed in the exchange of fire had been identified as Prashant Pattnaik and Tanu Duria. While the former was killed on the spot, the later succumbed to his injuries at the R Udayagiri Hospital.

Two other constables injured in the incident were admitted to the R Udayagiri Hospital but were later shifted to MKCG Medical College and Hospital as their condition deteriorated.

Police said the Naxalites rushed to the Inspection bunglow when they learnt that District Collector Binod Behari Mohanty was staying there. But by the time they reached the spot, the Collector escaped to a nearby block quarter.

The ultras, however, ransacked the Inspection Bunglow when they found the that the Collector had left the building.

Police said the Naxalites who arrived in the small town of R Udayagiri from Nuagada, snapped the telephone and electricity lines and blocked all the entry points to the town by putting big trees to prevent the arrival of the force. The Naxalites also attacked the Tahasil office, kidnapped the Tahasildar and laid landmines near the tahasil office to prevent the police from reaching them.

The ultras then fled the town after holding it for more than three hours under their control.

Panic stricken people remained indoors fearing attack from the Naxalites while the shops and other business establishments were closed today following the attack.

Police forces rushed to the spot but the Naxalites escaped in two mini trucks shouting slogan like 'Maoists zindabad'. They also pasted several posters on the wall of the Tahasil office and police station.

UNI

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