Alert sounded as Naxal shutdown begins

States are on high alert as the 48-hr bandh called by the Naxals has begun.

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: The state governments in five most-Naxal affected states have intensified vigilance and taken precautionary measures as the 48-hour all-India bandh called by the CPI (Maoists) comes into force Wednesday.

The Maoists have called the two-day shutdown to protests the killing of their senior most leader Cherukuri Rajkumar alias Azad in Andhra Pradesh last week.

In view of the Home Ministry’s warning of Maoist-related violence during the two-day shutdown, the state governments in five most affected states are taking all possible steps to foil any attempt of violence, including hostage-like situations.

The Home Ministry yesterday asked the Naxal-affected states and the Railways to take necessary action to guard railway properties, tracks, public places, markets and other vital installations to avoid any untoward incident during the 48-hour bandh.

The Maoists have vowed to take revenge of Azad`s killing by Andhra Pradesh Police in an alleged encounter near Sarkapalli village in Adilabad district. The Maoists also reportedly asked people not to travel by train during the bandh period.

"There have been intelligence reports that the Maoists may try to create a hostage-like situation to demand the release of their jailed leaders," an official said.
The Centre is particularly concerned over the safety of Shatabdi and Rajdhani Express trains, rail tracks and passengers as nearly 150 people lost their lives following the derailment of Jnaneswari Express in West Bengal on May 29 by Maoists.
Meanwhile, the Railways said it was taking the situation seriously and has kept `crack teams` on standby.

Pilot trains will run during the day time also in Naxal-affected areas and all trains will run in bunches.

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