Maoist shutdown hits life in Chhattisgarh`s Bastar

Normal life continued to remain hit in Chhattisgarh`s Maoist stronghold of Bastar region on Saturday, the second and final day of shutdown by rebels, as buses did not ply and shops were closed.

Raipur: Normal life continued to remain hit in Chhattisgarh`s Maoist stronghold of Bastar region on Saturday, the second and final day of shutdown by rebels, as buses did not ply and shops were closed.

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The shutdown has made a strong impact in five districts of Bastar - Dantewada, Bijapur, Bastar, Narayanpur and Kanker as buses are off roads. Even insurgents have put heavy wooden logs at various places.

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The outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) called the two-day shutdown to oppose a movement launched this month. The movement, Dandakaranya Shanti Sangharsh Samiti, is being reportedly described as the latest version of the controversial Salwa Judum that was launched in June 2005 and displaced nearly 50,000 people in Bastar region.

Even a lone passenger train that connects Kirandul town in Dantewada district to Andhra Pradesh port city has been restricted to Jagdalpur, fearing disturbances by Maoists.

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Reports coming in from Bastar also said that the transporters kept out their vehicles even from National Highway 16 in Bijapur and National Highway 221 in Dantewada district as Maoists have targetted vehicles on these roads in the past if their shutdown call was ignored.

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Security has been further stepped up in Bastar where police say that nearly 25,000 sq km of its total 40,000 sq km area is intensively mined by Maoists.

"Security has always been in top gear in Bastar but surely some more bold steps have been taken to bolster security arrangements during the shutdown period in areas vulnerable to be attacked by Naxlas (Maoists)," Bastar range inspector general of police TJ Longkumer said.

IANS

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