Maoists blast rly tracks during Bihar-Jharkhand 24-hr bandh

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Patna, Jul 2 (UNI) Maoists guerrillas blew up train tracks in separate places in Bihar during the outfit's Bihar-Jharkhand bandh today.

The rebels blew up two feet of tracks between Abtar Nagar and Badagopal railway stations under East Central railways in Chhapra, disrupting train movement.

Deputy Manager (Operation) Dilip Kumar told reporters that the insurgents triggered the explosion between Abtarnagar and Badagopal stations this morning, uprooting two feet of tracks.

The bomb squads had reached the spot to neutralise the live bombs left behind by the Maoists.

''Senior officers and technical personnel have reached the spot and repair of the tracks is on to restore services on the route as soon as possible,'' Mr Kumar added.

A report from West Champaran said the Leftist ultras blew up 15 to 20 metres of tracks between Mahaul-Mahesi stations under Narkatyaganj-Muzaffarpur sections of East railways at around midnight last night.

However, no casualty was reported. Train services on the section were paralysed.

The Railways have tightened security and directed the Government Rail Police (GRP) and the Railway Protection Force(RPF) to remain alert during the bandh. They have also cancelled or diverted routes of several trains.

Pilot engines were being run ahead of mail and express trains as safety measures during the night.

Patrolling of tracks had also been intensified, East Central Railway (ECR) sources informed.

The Maoists called the bandh in protest against alleged police excesses and arrest of their outfit's leaders.

The Bihar government had made elaborate security arrangements in view of the bandh.

Official sources here said all police stations had been alerted and directed to keep extra vigil in their jurisdiction.

''Security has also been beefed up around public places,'' the sources said.

Security personnel were monitoring the situation in the Bihar-Jharkhand border as well as at the international border with Nepal.

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