Kandhamal people fear Maoist attack

November 29th, 2010 - 5:56 pm ICT by IANS  

Bhubaneswar, Nov 29 (IANS) People in parts of Orissa’s communally sensitive Kandhamal district remained indoors Monday fearing a Maoist attack, two days after the rebels blew up an ambulance killing all its five occupants in the area, police said.

The landmine blast took place Saturday night in a hilly and forested area near Brahmanigaon village, some 350 km from here.

Roads were deserted Monday as vehicles stayed away in Brahmanigaon village and in about 20 other nearby villages. People feared that the rebels may have planted more landmines.

Shop owners also pulled down shutters, fearing a rebel attack.

“Normal life has been affected in Brahmanigaon and in about 20 villages located around it,” a police officer said, adding that a high alert has been sounded.

“Police and paramilitary have been deployed at various strategic points. They have launched combing operations to locate the rebels involved in the mine blast,” he said.

Five people, including two women and a three-year-old girl, were killed when the rebels blew up the ambulance in which they were travelling Saturday night.

“We are afraid because it was for the first time the rebels targeted an ambulance in the region,” said Raghunath Digal, who lives in the area.

Kandhamal witnessed widespread violence after the murders of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati and four of his aides at his ashram Aug 23, 2008.

At least 38 people were killed and over 25,000 Christians were forced to flee their homes after their houses were attacked by mobs that held Christians responsible for Saraswati’s killing, although the police blamed the Maoists.

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