CPI(Maoists)-sponsored 24-hour bandh leaves no impact

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Kolkata, Apr 16 (UNI) The CPI(Maoists)-sponsored 24-hour bandh in West Bengal, Orissa, Bihar, Jharkhand and Chattisgarh since midnight last night was by and large peaceful and failed to evoke any response today.

The bandh was called to protest the killing of their cadres in police encounter in Garwah district on April one.

While in the Maoists-dominated districts of Purulia, Bankura and East and West Midnapore districts of West Bengal, the bandh had virtually no impact, in Orissa schools, colleges, offices and commercial establishments remained open and business was conducted as usual. Vehicles also plied normally.

Life in Jharkhand remained almost unaffected. Barring an explosion on the railway tracks in Giridih district, there had been no untoward incident so far.

Suspected Maoist ultras set off bombs, damaging about 300-m of railway track between Choudharibandh and Chengdro stations in Giridih district early today, official sources said adding work was going on full swing to restore communication.

Reports from most of the naxal-dominated districts said life remained normal in these areas.

Meanwhile, in the state capital, the bandh evoked hardly any response.

The Bihar government had sounded red alert across the state following the bandh, which evoked no response in the state.

State Director General of Police (DGP) S C Jha told UNI that all police stations in the state had been put on high alert.

He said the district Police Superintendents had been asked to remain cautious and take necessary action to foil the attempts of the ultras.

Mr Jha calimed the bandh had so far been peaceful and no untoward incident reported from any corner of the state.

Keeping in mind the trend of the Maoist attack, who mostly execute their operations during night hours, he said the security personnel had been directed to maintain strict vigil during the period. The security had also been tightened at all public places.

The DGP also maintained that the railways had been asked to keep extra vigil on the tracks to prevent any eventuality.

Meanwhile, a group of armed Maoists attacked the Sesar railway station on Gaya-Dehri rail division of East Central railways last night and took the Assistant Station Master in their captive.

The extremists also removed fish plates at five different places on the tracks of the section following which the train services on the route remained paralysed for over five hours.

Later, the Maoists released the Assistant Station Master.

UNI Team SJC DB1935

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