Maoists "Bihar bandh" call fails to evoke response

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Patna, Dec 20 (UNI) Maoist-sponsored 24-hour Bihar bandh today to protest the 'unnatural' death of one of its senior comrades in Beur Central jail here last week, evoked little response.

Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Anil Kumar said the government had imposed a 'high alert' throughout the state since last night and directed all district Superintendents of Police to ensure foolproof security to all vital installations, government offices, railway stations and other community places.

The Railway Police had also been instructed to make special security arrangements along tracks passing through Bihar, he said.

Stating that there were no reports of any untoward incident so far in connection with the bandh, Mr Kumar said even the extremist dominated regions of South and North Bihar remained peaceful.

''Except in some pockets of remote regions, life is normal throughout the state,'' Mr Kumar confirmed.

All schools, offices, business establishments, shops and markets remained open and vehicles were plying normally in capital Patna and other cities and towns, Mr Kumar said.

He also confirmed that trains and airline services were normal.

However, he said, as a precautionary measure additional forces had been despatched to the Indo-Nepal border in several north Bihar districts to prevent influx of Maoist guerillas from across the border.

The Seema Shasastra Bal (SSB) had also been put on high alert to foil any disruptive attempt of hardcore CPI (Maoists), he added.

The bandh had been called to protest the 'unnatural' death of CPI(Maoist) leader Nagina Manjhi in the high security Beur Central jail here on December 16 following alleged police atrocities.

Incidentally, in a separate incident seven people, including a CRPF Assitant Commandant and two jawans, were killed and nine injured in one of the fiercest ever encounters in Bihar between armed Maoist rebels and the security forces at Kadma village in East Champaran last night.

UNI

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