Bastar deserted due to Maoist shutdown



Raipur: The second day of a week-long shutdown, called by the outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) to protest the security forces' action against them, Friday hit normal life in Chhattisgarh's Bastar region, police said.

The shutdown till Aug 3 also aims to oppose the setting up of an Army training camp in the region.

Residents chose to remain indoors. The national highways in Dantewada and Bijapur districts wore a deserted look, an officer here told a news agency.

Iron ore transportation from NMDC Ltd's mines in Dantewada to Andhra Pradesh's port city Visakhapatnam is reportedly affected.

Police stepped up patrolling in the interior areas. Security of government installations was heightened.

This is the second such strike called by Maoists this month.

The CPI-Maoist, which holds sway since the late 1980s, has an estimated 10,000 cadres armed with AK-47s and rocket launchers.

The Bastar region comprises five districts - Bijapur, Narayanpur, Kanker, Bastar and Dantewada.

IANS