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Combing operation on to trace abducted police officer

A massive combing operation was launched on Thursday to trace a police officer allegedly abducted by Maoists in Orissa`s Keonjhar district.

Updated: Jul 08, 2010, 12:55 PM IST

Bhubaneshwar: A massive combing operation was launched on Thursday to trace a police officer allegedly abducted by Maoists in Orissa`s Keonjhar district as normal life remained disrupted in some parts of the state, second day of the two-day Bharat bandh called by the rebels.

SOG and police personnel conducted combing in Daitari area in Keonjhar district where heavily armed Maoists had attacked the police station and a forest office last night and were feared to have abducted Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) Umesh Chandra Marandi, police said.

Marandi, missing since the attack by about 80 heavily armed ultras on the first day of their strike to protest the death of a top rebel leader, was yet to be traced, they said.

The bandh continued to disrupt road communication and business activities in some areas as Government bus service was suspended in Maoist-hit districts like Koraput, Gajapati,
Malkangiri, Rayagada and Kandhamal leaving passengers stranded at many places, police sources said.

The ultras also blocked some roads in Malkangiri, Kandhamal and Koraput districts by felling trees.

A passenger train and some goods trains were suspended in Sundargarh district, while private buses also stopped plying in some areas fearing naxal attack. Vehicular movement in several rebel-infested regions remained restricted as the bandh evoked mixed response in the state.

The bandh had little impact in urban areas though shops and business establishments remained closed in rural pockets of Malkangiri, Gajapati, Koraput, Rayagada, Keonjhar
and Sundargarh.

Barring the ultra attack in the mining area of Daitari, no untoward incident was reported from any other part of the state where the situation remained peaceful, a
senior police officer said.

Security was tightened and patrolling intensified in Maoist-infested areas, while a strict vigil was maintained in areas bordering Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh and
West Bengal.

Special arrangements were made to ensure safety of train passengers and railway property as they have become a soft target of the ultras, sources said.

East Coast Railway (ECoR) has regulated some of the trains running through Maoist-hit districts of Koraput and Rayagada in a bid to avoid any trouble, they said.

Some goods trains running from Rourkela to Bimlagarh to transport iron ore and other raw materials to Rourkela Steel Plant during day time and one passenger train running
between Biramitrapur and Barsuna were suspended today and tomorrow in view of the bandh call.

The trains on main Howrah-Mumbai line are running as usual, sources said adding whenever necessary the trains are running with pilot train.

The passenger bus services and transportation were affected particularly on NH-215 passing through Maoist prone areas in Sundargarh and Keonjhar district.

PTI