Singbhum (Jharkhand), July 22 : Maoists in Jharkhand observed a dawn to dusk shutdown on Tuesday against the civil nuclear deal between India and the United States.
The banned Maoists threatened the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) against supporting the ruling United Progressive Alliance in the vote of confidence in Parliament.
The JMM, which has five MPs in parliament, decided to support the government in the voting.
Scant traffic plied on the roads in the state's Singhbhum District with trucks stranded along the roads.
"We were told that there is a shutdown so we are not allowed to unload the goods and therefore we are stationed here. How long can we stand here like this without food?" said Shankar Chavan, a truck driver.
The locals felt that the success of the shutdown was largely due to the fear of the Maoists.
"People are scared. They don't go out for fear of life, if caught on the road, they will be killed by the rebels," said Sheru Khan, a bus agent.
The police, however, said they are equipped to deal with any untoward incident during the shutdown.
"We have taken all precautions. We have deployed forces in the areas where we anticipate Maoists will try to disrupt road and rail traffic," said S.N.Pradhan, Inspector General of Jharkhand Police.
Similar shutdowns have also been called in West Bengal and Orissa.
The Maoists say they are fighting for the rights of poor peasants and landless labourers. They operate in a large swathe of India stretching from the east to some southern states, mostly in the countryside, and routinely arrange protests, kill policemen, attack government property and target local politicians.
The government is facing a confidence vote on Tuesday to prove its parliamentary majority after its Communist allies withdrew support earlier this month over a controversial nuclear deal with the United States.