Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Rayagada, Mar 31:

Around 20 armed Maoists stormed into Daikallu railway station office in Odisha’s Rayagada district late last night and exploded an improvised explosive device (IED) inside it after dragging the station master outside.

“At least 15-20 armed Maoists arrived at the station at around 1.30 a.m. They first ransacked the office,” said station master S.K. Parida.

The Maoists then pulled the station staffs out of the office. Soon they triggered an explosion in the office and snatched away the walkie-talkie used by the station master, a statement of the East Coast Railway said.

The militants left the station after 2 a.m. The station staffs are safe, it added.

“The Maoists triggered a blast inside the engine of a goods train. However, there were no major damage as the engine was strong enough,” said Rayagada SP K.Siva Subramani.

“After the incident, Rayagada SP, SOG team, dog squad and CRPF have reached the spot. Combing operation has been launched in the area. We have pressed SOG, CRPF and DVF teams to track the Maoists,” said DGP KB Singh.

The window of the office and several properties were damaged in the explosion, sources said.

The extremists forced the station master to stop a goods train following which they snatched away the walkie-talkie of the train driver, reports said.

Before fleeing the spot, they also put up posters and banners of CPI(Maoist) protesting Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Odisha and appointment of non-Odia administrative and police officers in the state.

A team of East Coast Railway reached the spot and are investigating into the matter.

Movement of trains in Rayagada-Raipur route was affected due to the incident.

Bokaro-Alleppey Express and Rourkela-Koraput Express were halted at Ambadala station, Puri-Ahmedabad Express and Junagarh Express at Rayagada station and Durg-Visakhapatnam Express was halted at Thirubali station.