Maoists blow up Jharkhand panchayat building
Ranchi: Maoist guerrillas blew up a panchayat building in Jharkhand`s Latehar district as the state holds its first panchayat polls, police said on Sunday.
According to the police, 15 to 20 Maoists raided Khura village in Latehar, some 140 km from here, late Saturday night and blew up a panchayat building using detonators and explosives.
No one was injured in the incident.
The first phase of the five-phase panchayat polls took place in Jharkhand on Saturday that saw 64 percent balloting.
In a separate incident, police recovered two landmines from Khapia village in Latehar district.
The last panchayat elections were held in 1979 when Jharkhand was part of Bihar. The subsequent polls could not be held in Jharkhand due to a legal battle over reservation to tribal people in scheduled areas (notified tribal areas).
In the absence of elected panchayats, the state loses out on over Rs 300-400 crore annually in central assistance, which are provided to these local governments directly.
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