Maoists backed organisation calls for weeklong strike to protest leader's killing

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Jhargam (West Bengal), Feb 24 (ANI): Maoists backed People's Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCPA) has called for a weeklong strike across West Bengal starting from Wednesday to protest against the killing of their top leader in an encounter.

On Tuesday, the PCPA leader Lalmohan Tudu was shot dead during an encounter with security forces in trouble hit Lalgarh area.

According to police, Tudu was killed while leading an attack on a camp of the security forces in Kantapahari. But the PCPA claims that the forces killed him near his house.

Shops and other business establishments in Maoists dominated areas were closed and public transport also remained off road.

The strike has irked the locals, who lament losses and inconvenience but are forced to support it out of fear of the Maoists.

"We support strike because they (Maoists) want us to support. Business is stopped, the prices of products are increasing rapidly, we can't bring products from outside but we still have to support the strike. Several strikes have taken place within a short time in Jhargram," said Babu Mahato, a local businessman.

"We can't understand what will be happen in coming days, as every other day there is a strike. Markets open for two days and again there is a strike. No one comes here from outside as they are afraid," he added.

The incident occurred just hours after Maoist top leader Mallojula Koteshwar Rao alias Kishenji offered a 72-day ceasefire through a statement to TV.

Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram said in a statement that talks could be possible if the Maoists gave up violence, a demand the Maoists have so far refused. (ANI)

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