Vendors throw vegetables on road in protest against Maoist shutdown

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Ranchi, Feb.9 (ANI): Vendors, who have been waiting to transport their goods to the cities for three days, have thrown the vegetables on the road in sheer disgust as a mark of protest against the Maoists who have declared a shutdown in the area.

The Maoists declared closure in Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa and West Bengal as a mark of protest against the central government's 'Operation Green Hunt' to track down Maoists.

Due to the shutdown, the supply of all essential commodities like fuel, petroleum, Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), foodgrains has been affected, as the vehicles are not allowed to enter the region.

"The traders, who come to this region for trading and solely depend on this for their livelihood, are facing a lot of problems. Due to the frequent shutdown called by the Maoists, our families also have to suffer a lot," said Shiv Nath Rai, a labourer.

Local people say once the trade is disrupted in the stock market, it takes more than a week to restore normalcy.

"The frequent shutdown declared by the Maoists affects the trade in Ranchi. Any kind of loading and unloading of goods could not take place. The stock market over here depends on the nearby stock markets and we are facing a lot of problems due to this shutdown. Further, the vehicles are not allowed to enter this region, so the commodities being transported from places like Raipur and Varanasi are not able to enter the market," said, Ravi Rustogi, a businessman.

On Monday, the rebels blew a stretch of railway track near Sundergarh in Orissa as a part of their 72-hour bandh (shutdown).

The Maoist rebellion that began four decades ago championing the cause of poor peasants in the Naxalbari area of West Bengal has now spread to large areas of the country, with the rebels targeting police and government property in hit-and-run attacks.

The rebels have ignored repeated calls to renounce violence and negotiate and have stepped up their attacks in recent months, prompting the government to go after them in a concerted strike.

The Maoists contend that they are fighting for the rights of the poor and marginal farmers and landless labourers.

Thousands have been killed in the Maoist insurgency, which began in the late 1960s and which Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had described as one of the gravest domestic threat to India's internal security. (ANI)

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