Violence in Ranchi following Maoist killing of former welfare minister

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Ranchi, July 10 : Violence erupted in Jharkhand's capital Ranchi today during a statewide shutdown called by the Janata Dal (United) party a day after former State Welfare Minister Ramesh Singh Munda and four others were shot dead by Maoists.

Party activists ransacked shops and damaged vehicles.

"The Jharkhand government is not taking steps against the murder, and therefore, these violent attacks on the public and its property," said Shanker Mahto, a party activist.

The Maoist rebels say they are fighting for the rights of poor peasants and landless labourers and routinely call strikes, attack government property and target local politicians.

Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Orissa and Bihar are the States where the Maoists wield strong influence.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has described the four-decade-old Maoist rebellion, which has killed thousands of people, as the biggest threat to the country's internal security.

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