Maoists call for shutdown in poll bound Jharkhand

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Ranchi, Nov. 29 (ANI): Maoists in Jharkhand State have given a call for a 48-hour shutdown, as part of their poll boycott, ahead of the second phase of State Assembly polls due on December 2.

Polls for the first phase for 26 Assembly seats were held on November 25. The second phase is to be held on December 2 and will cover most of the Maoists affected areas in the state.

The shutdown, which began from Saturday midnight, saw the Maoists blowing up one-room building of Mahubuang railway station and a stretch of railway track in Bokaro district in the wee hours.

Railway authorities, however, said they have taken enough precautions to avert any kind of attacks on the railway passengers.

"Maoist target railways to cause big damage also because it has news value. If they attack railways the news spreads widely and their stand is vindicated. Keeping in mind the security, we have initiated a pilot engine running with all goods train, we are patrolling the tracks and sending escorts with each trains," said Prabhat Ranjan, divisional operation manager, Hatia Division.

Most of the public transport stayed off the road causing inconvenience to the passengers and daily wage labourers.

"We are facing lot of problem. We are vegetable traders and not being able to travel from one place to another. We lose $ 11 to $ 22 on a daily basis," said, Dinesh, a vegetable trader.

The 81-member Jharkhand assembly was put under suspended animation in January.

Federal rule was imposed in the state following the political deadlock.

Thousands have been killed in the Maoist insurgency which began in the late 1960s and which Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has described as one of the gravest homegrown threats to India's internal security.

Singh has gone on record that a campaign against the rebels had failed to produce results and that rebel violence was on the rise in many states.

The rebels, who say they are fighting for the rights of poor farmers and landless labourers, are expanding their influence in the rural areas of east, central and southern India. (ANI)

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