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Sharmili Mallick

A journalist in Odisha’s Naxal infested Kalahandi district was killed in an explosion when he went to cover the news about the ultra’s warning to locals to boycott the forthcoming Panchayat elections in the State, on Saturday.

The incident occurred near Karlakhunta Bridge in Mohangiri area under Madanpur Ramur police station limits of the district in the morning hours.

Police said the scribe, Rohit Kumar Biswal, a resident of Madanpur-Rampur area, worked as a reporter for a local newspaper.

As per reports, Biswal was tipped off about some posters surfacing near Karlakhunta Bridge warning locals to boycott the ensuing Panchayat polls.

He rushed to the spot to check the veracity of the information. Sources said when Biswal started to take pictures of the posters he was blown away by a high-intensity blast. He died on the spot. It is suspected that the explosives, presumably land mines, were planted near the bridge and Biswal accidentally stepped on it.

The Kalahandi Police and CRPF rushed to the spot upon receiving the information and started an investigation.

A bomb squad has also been summoned to check if more explosives have been planted at the spot. Till the last reports came in, Biswal’s body was still to be recovered from the spot.

Meanwhile, condeming the heinous act by Maoists in Odisha, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) National Vice President and Delhi In-Charge, Baijayant 'Jay' Panda tweeted, “Very sad at the murder of journalist Rohit Biswal by Maoists in Odisha. All you idealist young students & Liberals, know that leftists have killed nearly 100m people, by far the most in history. Remember this when you hear anyone praise the Left or say Lal Salaam. Om Shanti.”

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