Nabarangpur: At least nine rooms of a kendu leaves godown were reduced to ashes at Debandha village under Chandahandi block in Nabarangpur district Friday noon.
Kendu leaves worth crores of rupees were gutted. According to sources, 20-30 Maoists allegedly reached the spot and 10 of them barged into the godown.
The extremists then torched the godown. As per eyewitnesses, the Maoists also threatened the security guards and forest officials.
The incident has left the locals panic-stricken as it was the first case of violence by Maoists in the area.
The matter came to the fore after locals spotted smoke emanating from the godown and immediately alerted the local police and fire service personnel.
Fire tenders swung into action. However, nine rooms of the godown were completely gutted by then.
While the actual reason behind the incident is yet to be ascertained, Umerkote SDPO Hemant Padhi suspects the involvement of Naxals.