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Contractor killed by Maoists

Staff Reporter

Body recovered, sent for post-mortem

BERHAMPUR: Maoists murdered a contractor involved in construction of Pradhan Mantri Gramya Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) in Koraput district of south Orissa during the fag- end of their 48-hour bandh call on Friday night.

The deceased Aravind Singh Chawlawas a resident of Sambalpur who was operating his construction work of his firm from Jeypore in Koraput district. His body was located at Chikalmari of Lamtaput block. He had been shot dead from close range. They also burnt down one tipper and an excavator of his company at the worksite. Through a hand written Telugu letter left at his construction site, the Srikakulam division of the outlawed CPI (Maoist) organisation claimed their hand in the incident. It was first murder by Maoists in Lamtaput block of the district.

Koraput Superintendent of Police (SP), Anup Sahu said it was a cold blooded murder to dissuade contractors from taking up road construction work in remote areas. In February 2009, Maoists had murdered a contractor in Malkangiri district Prasanna Kumar Swain at Govindpalli. Swain was also involved in construction roads in remote areas of Malkangiri district.

According to sources, the contractor was picked up by the Maoists at around 5 p.m. while he was returning back to Jeypore from his worksite at Uperkanti near Dudhari at a distance of around 14 kilometers from Lamtaput. Maoists blindfolded him and took him with them to some unknown place. Around 11 p.m. around 100 Maoists came back with the contractor to his worksite near Chikalmari. As per eyewitnesses this Maoist group included armed teenagers and women cadres. They terrorised the locals and the workers at the worksite. Using the fuel kept for the machinery used for road construction work, they burnt up the tipper and an excavator at around midnight.

At around 12.30 a.m. the contractor kept under their custody was shot at on the road from close range. Eyewitnesses say a female Maoist shot him in cold blood. As per the letter left behind the Maoists had killed the contractor as part of their retaliation to protest against the killing of their top leader Azad alias Cherukuri Rajkumar in Andhra Pradesh, for which they had given the bandh call. They also expressed their protest against proposed joint operation against them through it.

Police took precautions not to rush to the spot of murder to avoid chances of ambush and landmine blasts. Later the body of the murdered contractor was recovered and sent for post mortem. Combing operation has been intensified in the area following this murder.

The site of this murder is a hilly terrain to the south of Damanjodi is fit to be hiding place of the violent Leftist miscreants .

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