Cowherd dies in landmine blast in Kandhamal forest, Maoist posters found at site | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Cowherd dies in landmine blast in Kandhamal forest, Maoist posters found at site

ByDebabrata Mohanty
Feb 09, 2022 04:05 PM IST

The landmine blast that killed the cowherd occurred five days after a journalist in Kalahandi was killed in a similar landmine explosion.

BHUBANESWAR: Five days after a journalist in Kalahandi was killed in a landmine explosion, a 20-year-old cowherd of Kandhamal district, who was out in the forest herding his flock of cattle, died in a similar explosion on Wednesday morning after he accidentally stepped on a pressure bomb planted by suspected Maoists, police said.

A 20-year-old cowherd was killed when he stepped on a pressure bomb while herding cows near Sadingia village. (Photo: Sourced)
A 20-year-old cowherd was killed when he stepped on a pressure bomb while herding cows near Sadingia village. (Photo: Sourced)

Police officials said Priyaranjan Kanhar(20) of Kiamunda village under Phiringia police station was killed when he stepped on a pressure bomb near Sadingia village while herding cows. “The youth died instantly,” said a police official of the district. Incidentally, the rebels on Tuesday torched two JCB excavator machines engaged in road construction works at the same site opposing panchayat polls and civil construction.

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After the JCB machines were torched on Tuesday, the bomb disposal squad defused two landmines in that area. However, the squad could not detect the one that went off today. Several red banners purportedly put up by Communist Party of India (Maoist) asking people to boycott panchayat polls have come up in the area as well as several parts of Kandhamal in the last few days ahead of the polls scheduled next week. The Maoist posters demanded withdrawal of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) camps in the district and adequate payment of wages to labourers.

Red banners purportedly put up by CPI(Maoist) asking people to boycott panchayat polls have come up in several parts of Kandhamal in the last few days ahead of the polls scheduled next week. (Photo: Sourced)
Red banners purportedly put up by CPI(Maoist) asking people to boycott panchayat polls have come up in several parts of Kandhamal in the last few days ahead of the polls scheduled next week. (Photo: Sourced)

Wednesday’s blast comes in the wake of a landmine explosion in Kalahandi district in which a 48-year-old journalist working for an Odia daily was killed when his motorbike went over a pressure bomb planted by Maoists.

Rohit Biswal, the journalist of Dharitri newspaper, was trying to take photos of posters put up by the red rebels warning people not to vote in the upcoming panchayat polls when his motorbike came over a pressure bomb on Kalahandi-Kandhamal border triggering an explosion. Biswal is the first journalist to be killed in Maoist violence in Odisha.

Later, Odisha government announced ex-gratia of 13 lakh to the next of kin of the journalist.

The area where the twin landmines took the lives of two in less than a week is the corridor of ‘KKBN division’ of the Maoists or Kalahandi-Kandhamal-Boudh-Nayagarh, the four district that form part of a longer corridor extending from Koraput in south to west in Chhatisgarh.

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