Maoist economic blockade upsets routine life in Orissa

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Koraput (Orissa), Apr 29 (ANI): The weeklong economic blockade by the Andhra-Orissa Border Committee of the Maoists has upset routine life in Orissa's Koraput District.

The inter-state public and private transport communication to and from the neighbouring Andhra Pradesh reportedly came to a standstill as on Wednesday.

The rebels had called for a shutdown of all economic activities in the region on April 24.

Maoist-hit Narayanpatna and Bandhugaon areas in Koraput remained cut-off from the rest of the state, as the ultras blocked the connecting roads by felling trees on the Laxmipur-Narayanpatna Road bringing vehicular traffic to almost complete stop.

Consequently, the people of Orissa faced a lot of problems due to lack of communication modes as the buses and trucks halted and prevented from proceeding ahead.

"The Maoists had called the economic blockade on 24th and we are facing problems since then. The buses are not plying on the roads and thus we are being forced to stay in lodgings and hotels. We are in turn spending a lot of money. We have to go to Malkangiri as road is closed and we are stuck here," observed Ravi Nayak, a local.

Shops, business establishments, schools and other educational institutions all remained closed during the shutdown.

The police personnel in Koraput have initiated all preventive measures to check the menace posed by the Maoists.

A thorough investigation drive is being carried out to nab the ultras in hiding.

"The CPI-Maoists (Communist Party of India-Maoists) have called for a Bandh (closure) regarding their economic blockade.ccordingly the police and administration have planted frequent checking on the entry and exit points to the town," said Surendranath Satpathy, Inspector-in-charge, Jaipur town Police Station.

"A stiffening battle has also been introduced at night. We are also checking lodges, hotels, dormitories etc. and also the bus stand and the halting point of the night-plying buses," he added.

The Maoists had called for a 48-hour shutdown in three states-est Bengal, Orissa and Jharkhand demanding release of six Maoists, who were arrested earlier.

Earlier this month, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram described the Maoists as anti-poor and anti-development.

He had said the Maoists have targeted all instruments of development.

"The Naxalites are anti-development and have targeted the very instruments of development - school buildings, roads, telephone towers etc. They know that development will mean the masses, especially poor tribals, wean them away from the grip of Naxalites," Chidambaram said.

In 2009 alone, Maoists have demolished 71 school buildings, 23 Panchayat Bhawans, two power plants. They also destroyed 67 telephone exchanges or mobile towers.

Maoists also targeted railway property for 46 times and targeted specific industrial establishments at least 17 times in 2009. (ANI)

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