Mixed response to Maoist bandh call in five states

Last Updated: Tuesday, May 18, 2010 - 20:28

Ranchi: The 48-hour bandh called by Maoists
in five states evoked mixed response on the first day today
even as the Railways, a soft target of Left wing extremists,
took adequate measures to thwart attack on trains.

The bandh was called in Chattisgarh -- the scene of the
deadly landmine blast that claimed 35 lives yesterday, West
Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand and Orissa in protest against
security operations against Maoists.

In Jharkhand, the ultras torched a tractor at Paradih
village. Barring this, there was no untoward incident till
late in the afternoon, official sources said here.

While the bandh was felt in most rural areas of Kolhan,
Chhotanagpur and Palamau divisions, normal life remained
unaffected in urban areas. However, the bandh flopped in
Santhal Pargana region which comprises 7 of the state`s 24
districts.

Long distance buses stayed off the national highways and
loading and unloading in mining areas were affected as trucks
did not ply.

As a precautionary measure, the Railways cancelled and
diverted some long-distance trains passing through Jharkhand
and Orissa.

Vehicular traffic was also affected in various areas of
Malkangiri and Koraput districts of Orissa bordering
Chhattisgarh.

In two Maoist-hit districts of West Midnapore and
Purulia in West Bengal, the bandh was near total with no
private vehicle on the road and all shops, schools and offices
remaining closed in the forested areas, collectively known as
Jungle Mahal.

Tension was palpable in Chattisgarh where Maoists blew up
a private bus using improvised explosive device in the second
major attack in Dantewada in as many months. On April six, 75
CRPF jawans and one policeman were killed in a Naxal ambush.

Heavy security arrangements have been made in the state
following yesterday`s blast.

There was no report of any untoward incident from Bihar
where a special alert has been sounded in view of the bandh
call.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, May 18, 2010 - 20:28

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