Maoist-sponsored bandh peaceful in most places

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Kolkata, Nov 19 (UNI) Except for a blast in Birbhum district which blew up a large portion of railway tracks today, the Maoist-sponsored 48-hour bandh in parts of the state was peaceful so far.

Maoists triggered the blast on Eastern Railways' Sainthia-Andal section. There was, however, no report of any injury.

Reports from the affected districts said no untoward incident was reported from West Midnapore, Purulia, Bankura and Birbhum on the first day of the two-day bandh called in protest against atrocities on villagers in Nandigram.

The bandh had also been called in Bihar and Jharkhand.

West Midnapore District Magistrate N S Nigam said the bandh had been partial, with Jhargram sub-division being mostly affected where all essential services have come to a complete halt.

Shops, markets, educational and financial institutions remained closed in the naxal-affected areas, especially Belpahari, Banspahari, Lalgarh, Jamboni and Kankrajhor.

Attendance in government offices in the district had fallen in view of a landmine blast and arson in a panchayat office in the district in the last two days.

The situation in Midnapore town and its surrounding areas was, however, normal with all public conveyance and essential services operating.

Apart from Birbhum's Sainthia-Andal section, train services have not been affected anywhere.

In Purulia district, Bandwan had been mostly affected and Kotsila, Jhalda and Jaipur had been partly affected.

A few state buses plied. However, no private buses or other mode of transport was visible.

A few posters were found in Bandwan's Mangla and Jaipur's Begunkodor areas.

Bankura bore the same picture with no untoward incident being reported from anywhere in the district.

Security, however, remained tight. The district administration and all police stations were on high alert.

UNI

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