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Maoists set off a blast early today at Doikalu railway station in Odisha's Rayagada district, ransacked the station master's office and put up posters to protest Prime Minister Narendra Modi's proposed visit to the state next month. A group of 15-20 Maoists stormed the railway station in Sambalpur division shortly after midnight and ransacked the station master's office, Chief Public Relations Officer of East Coast Railway (ECoR) J P Mishra said. The ultras pulled out Station Master S K Parida and triggered an explosion on the station premises.
Parida and a token porter, Gobind Hikaka, were also held hostage by them for a brief period, he said. The attackers snatched the walkie-talkie of the station master and forced the staff of a goods train standing outside the station to kill the engine, Mishra said. Rayagada Superintendent of Police K Siva Subramani, who rushed to the spot, said minor damage was caused to the engine of the goods train. No railway staff or local resident was injured in the Maoist attack, the CPRO said, adding railway officials at the control room have spoken to the staff. Train services through Daikallu, the falls between Rayagada and Titlagarh stations, were disrupted for quite some time. The line was later restored and some good trains have been allowed to pass, railway officials said. The Maoists left behind handwritten posters opposing the policies of the Narendra Modi government at the Centre and the Naveen Patnaik dispensation in Odisha, the officials said. One of the posters opposed the two-day visit of the Prime Minister to Odisha from April 15 to attend BJP's national executive meeting. Some posters also criticised non-Odia officers being appointed to senior posts in the state police as well as administration, they said. Director General of Police K B Singh said combing operation has been launched in the area by CRPF and Special Operation Group (SOG) personnel after the incident. The officials said the movement of goods trains with restricted speed had resumed after security clearance, while steps are being taken for resumption of express and passenger trains soon.