Naxals burn down Range Forest Office in Karnataka
Chikmagalur, Aug 23 (UNI) Showing their increasing presence in this district, naxalites belonging CPI (Maoists) set on fire the Range Forest Office (RFO) near Kerekatte village in Sringeri taluk of Karnataka today.
Official sources said the armed 20 naxaltes, including women, descended upon the spot from the nearby forests and asked the two watchmen to open the door of the godown. When they resisted, they broke open the door using their gun butts and burnt the RFO's jeep by pouring diesel. However they did not harm the two watchmen.
Later they entered the RFO's office by breaking open the front door. They made a heap of what ever they found in the office, like computer, furniture, records like case sheets of forest related offenses, land records and even service records of the forest department staff and burnt it down. In the process the whole office was gutted.
The outlaws continued their act for nearly 45 minutes even as the villagers watched. However, they left alone a motor cycle which was parked nearby.
They tried to break open RFO's residence which was locked as the official was away in Bangalore on official work.
The naxals then put up posters calling for support for the naxal movement, to protest against the harassment of the tribals and removal of restrictions on tribals to enter the nearby Kudremukh National Park.
Police rushed to the spot a few hours later and immediately launched a combing operation. Three parties of police forces, including the anti-naxal force had begun combing operations.
However, they could not trace the outlaws so far, police added.
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