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Odisha youth killed in IED blast near Maoist posters against rural polls

Phulbani (Odisha), Feb 9 (PTI) An 18-year-old youth was killed after an IED, suspected to have been planted by Maoists near their posters calling for boycotting the upcoming panchayat elections, exploded in Odisha’s Kandhamal district on Wednesday, police said.

The incident took place in Sadingia village in Phiringia police station area when Priya Ranjan Kanhar, a resident of Kiamunda village, was going to the forest, officer-in-charge P Shyam Sundar Rao said.

The body will be recovered from the spot after clearance from the bomb squad and forensic team, he said.

Locals, who fear there might be more explosives in the area, said that police had defused two Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) from near the posters on Tuesday, but the undetected IED, around 50 metres from the spot, claimed the life of Kanhar.

The explosion took place barely four days after a local journalist was killed in the district in a similar manner when he was approaching Maoist posters opposing the panchayat elections. Maoists are also suspected to be behind setting ablaze two road construction equipment of a private firm in the area on Tuesday, Rao said.

Police suspects that members of the Kalahandi-Kandhamal-Boudh-Nayagarh (KKBN) division of the banned CPI (Maoist) had planted the IEDs.

Besides calling for a boycott of the upcoming rural polls, the hand-written Maoist posters also demanded the withdrawal of CRPF camps in the district, and payment of adequate wages to labourers, Rao said.

Panchayat elections will be held in Odisha from February 16 to 24 in five phases, and campaigning is underway. PTI COR AAM SBN ACD ACD

This report is auto-generated from PTI news service. ThePrint holds no responsibility for its content.

Source: The Print

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