CM visits blast site

Chief minister Naveen Patnaik today visited Koraput to take stock of the situation after yesterday’s powerful landmine blast, triggered by Maoists, that killed eight OSSF jawans and a state police driver.

Accompanied by director-general of police M.M. Praharaj, Naveen flew to Koraput to make an on-the-spot assessment and paid tribute to the slain officers. Laxmipur sub-divisional police officer Uddhab Charan Nayak was suspended for faulty strategy that reportedly led to the Palur blast. Action was taken following the chief minister’s visit.

Naveen’s visit came a day after the Opposition lambasted the government for its apathy and opined that the chief minister should have toured Narayanpatna to take stock of the situation.

Gun salutes and floral tributes were given to the slain officers before their mortal remains were handed over to the families for the last rites.

Victims have been identified as Sukanta Sahoo from Kuchinda (Sambalpur), Bir Babu Singh from Patna (Bihar), Nehi Prasad Singh from Baskar (Bihar), Nardes Tiwari from Bhojpur (Bihar), Suleman Haro from Ranchi, Om Narayan Sharma from Mirjapur (UP), Kapileshwar Singh, Abhinash Kudur and Bijendra Biswakarma from Ranchi.

Naveen also directed the police to beef up security there and fortify police stations.

He also discussed demands made by pro-Naxalite Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangha for granting land rights to tribals and action against the non-tribal land-grabbers.

Last week, hundreds of armed tribals forcibly possessed land, allegedly usurped by non-tribals.

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