Maoists blow up railway tracks in West Bengal during 48-hour shutdown

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Kolkata, Mar 22 (ANI): The Maoists blew up a stretch of land along the railway track between Midnapore and Godapia Sal stations in West Midnapore district early on Monday morning during the two-day shutdown call given by them across the six states of West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhatisgarh, Orissa and Andhra Pradesh as well as three districts of Maharashtra.

District Magistrate N S Nigam said the railway tracks were not damaged in the blast, which took place at Bhalukkhunia this morning.

"Through such incidents, the Maoists are trying to divert the attention of the combined forces engaged in the combing operation to flush out Maoists from the Jangalmahal area," he added.

Nigam further said the train services on the route have been disrupted following the blast and checks are being carried out in the area.

The Maoists have called the shutdown in protest against the Union Budget, which the rebels claim is anti-poor and prepared under the dictates of the World Bank.

The shutdown has been called to create public opinion against Operation Greenhunt launched by the Central Government against the Maoists.

The Maoists have also warned Union Home Minister P Chidambaram that there would be large-scale violence if the police continue to hunt down its cadres and kill innocent people.

All the six states have been put on high alert following the shutdown.

The Maoists had on Saturday morning abducted nine people in Jharkhand including seven government officials, but later released them after three hours due to the pressure imposed on hem by the local police. (ANI)

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