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Day 2 of Maoist bandh cripples normal life in WB districts

Source: PTI
Last updated on: June 23, 2009 14:34 IST
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Normal life was affected for the second day on Tuesday in West Bengal's Maoist-infested districts of West Midnapore, Purulia and Bankura during the 48-hour bandh called by the ultras in five states to protest the offensive by security forces against Naxalites in Lalgarh.

Shops and markets remained closed and vehicles kept off the roads in the Maoist-hit areas of Lalgarh, Binpur, Pirakata and Jhargram in West Midnapore district.

However, no untoward incident was reported from the areas where security forces are expected to launch their offensive.

In the district headquarter town of Midnapore, life returned to normal and vehicles plied on roads.

Reports from Bankura and Purulia said life in the Maoist-hit areas was seriously affected.

The entire area is under strict surveillance of the security forces, official sources said.

Patrolling along the railway tracks has been intensified in the Adra division of South Eastern Railway following detection of a landmine at Birandi station on the first day of the Maoist bandh on Monday, the sources said.

Bihar: Maoists blast telecom tower, community centre

Meanwhile, Maoists blasted a tower of a private telephone service provider and a community centre in Bihar during their 48-hour bandh in five states to protest the police action at Lalgarh.

Scores of Communist Party of India-Maoist ultras swooped on Jhikatia village in Aurangabad district just past midnight and set off dynamites to blow up the community centre building, police said on Tuesday.

However, no one was injured as nobody was present at the building when the Maoists triggered the blast.

Maoists blew up the tower of a private telephone company at Kharasi village in extremist-affected Gaya district, also around midnight. The tower was badly damaged, police said.

The place is situated close to the Jharkhand border.

Life in Bihar remained largely unaffected by the Maoist bandh barring Barachatti sub-division of Gaya district, where shops and business establishments were closed and traffic including on the 100 km stretch of Grand Trunk road (NH-2) is very thin.

Jharkhand: Maoists blow-up panchayat bhavan

Maoists also blew-up a panchayat bhavan at Chahapur in Jharkhand's Palamau district early on Tuesday during the 48-hour shutdown called by them in five states to protest police operations at Lalgarh in West Bengal.

A group of about 20 armed Maoists descended on the vacant panchayat bhavan at around 3 am, packed it with explosives and blew it up, Superintendent of Police Mohit Bundus told mediapersons.

The roof of the building blew off, the walls cracked and the furniture was burnt to cinder due to the explosion, Bundus said.

Following the blast, security personnel launched a search operation near Chahapur, about 190 kms from Ranchi.

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