Odisha journalist killed in IED blast reportedly planted by Maoists | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Odisha journalist killed in IED blast reportedly planted by Maoists

ByDebabrata Mohanty, Bhubaneshwar
Feb 05, 2022 04:43 PM IST

Kalahandi SP Dr Vivek M Saravana said the incident may have happened anytime between 12 and 12.30 pm.

A 43-year-old journalist of Odia daily, Dharitri, died in an improvised explosive device (IED) blast on Saturday afternoon while he was trying to go near posters put up by suspected Maoists warning people not to vote in the coming panchayat polls in Mohangiri village in Madanpur-Rampur block, police said.

Rohit Biswal, a reporter of Odia daily, Dharitri, was killed while he was trying to go near posters put up by suspected Maoists warning people not to vote in the coming panchayat polls. (Photo: Sourced)
Rohit Biswal, a reporter of Odia daily, Dharitri, was killed while he was trying to go near posters put up by suspected Maoists warning people not to vote in the coming panchayat polls. (Photo: Sourced)

Rohit Biswal, a reporter of popular Odia daily Dharitri in Kalahandi district, had gone to Mohangiri village in Madanpur-Rampur block after receiving information about several posters put up by suspected Maoists calling for panchayat poll boycott near Karlarkhunta bridge. The panchayat polls in Odisha are scheduled to be held between October 16 and 24.

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Kalahandi SP Dr Vivek M Saravana said the incident may have happened anytime between 12 and 12.30 pm.

“Since morning we have been receiving photos of Maoist posters put up in the area asking people to boycott the polls. Sometimes Maoists put up IEDs near such posters and we normally don’t rush to take out such posters unless the area has been sanitised by bomb disposal squads. I suspect the reporter must have stepped on the IEDs planted under the road or gone too close to the posters which may have triggered the explosion. We are yet to get any clarity on how this happened,” he said.

Though the SP could not confirm about the death of the journalist, video clips of the incident emerged in which the injured body of the journalist lies next to a motorcycle which he was riding.

The posters were allegedly put up by KKBN Division of CPI(Maoist) that is active in Kalahandi and Kandhamal border.

The SP said he would not be able to confirm the death till the bomb disposal squads completely sanitise the area as there are likelihoods of more IEDs being planted near the spot. There were several Maoist posters and banners stuck to trees. “CRPF jawans have cordoned off the area that is close to Kandhamal district and a known corridor of the rebels,” he said.

Biswal’s death is the first instance of a journalist in Odisha getting killed in a Maoist violence.

In Chhatisgarh, Doordarshan journalist Achutynanda Sahu, a native of Odisha, and two police personnel were killed in the Aranpur sector of Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh in IED blast in October 2018.

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