Maoists Blow Up School, Set Ablaze Mobile Tower In Jharkhand’s Khunti

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Ranchi: Suspected Maoists set afire a yet to be functioning equipment of a mobile phone tower and blew up a section of a high school building in a village in Jharkhand’s Khunti district on Friday midnight.

The police said that search and combing operations have been initiated after the incident came to light this morning.

According to the police, the incident occurred in Birbanki village, around 18 km from Arki police station.The suspected Maoist operatives reached the school around midnight and asked a few labourers, who were working on primary health centre adjacent to it, to vacate the building. They then blew the front portion of the building, including the staircase, using a cylinder to trigger the blast.

Subsequently, they tried to damage the mobile phone tower of BSNL, which is adjacent to the building. They burnt its battery box. Further, they also set afire to the tyres of concrete mixing machine. They did not leave any pamphlets on the spot, said Office-in-charge (Arki) Hari Deo Prasad.

The police said that there was also a proposal to set up a police camp at the spot. However, it was yet to be implemented. It is not clear whether it was the proposal that led to such an act from them in a bid to deter the force.

“We are investigating. Since the Maoists have influence in the area, we are suspecting that they were behind the incident. A detailed probe is required,” said Prasad.

Khunti has been a stronghold of splinter Maoist group Peoples’ Liberation Front of India (PLFI). However, there are some areas where Maoists dominate.

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