A group of around 20 suspected Maoists attacked Doikallu railway station in Odisha’s Rayagada district early on Friday, ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the state. They set off two explosions and abducted a few railway staff briefly before letting them go. Nobody was injured in the incident, according to The Indian Express.
Th explosives were set off around 12.15 am between East Coast Railway’s Rayagada and Titilagarh stations, 450 kms away from Bhubhaneshwar. The Naxalites also snatched walkie-talkies from the staff and left behind posters protesting against Modi’s visit to Odisha, The Times of India reported. The prime minister is scheduled to visit Odisha on April 15 and 16 to attend the Bharatiya Janata Party’s national executive meeting.
A few posters also included messages protesting against Maoists’ opposition to non-Odias being appointed to administrative positions as well as in the Central Reserve Police Force and Border Security Force.
As many as 13 train services have been suspended, including trains to Visakhapatnam from Odisha via Rayaghada. Chief Public Relations Officer of East Coast Railway JP Mohapatra told The Indian Express train movements will resume “only after ascertaining the security and safety aspects”.
The attackers set off one of the blasts in the station master’s office and also tried to bomb the engine of a goods train. They escaped around 2 am, according to The Hindu.