Maoist strike begins in Jharkhand with violence

June 22nd, 2009 - 1:08 pm ICT by IANS  

Ranchi, June 22 (IANS) Security forces searching for landmines in Jharkhand were trapped in their vehicle Monday when they came under attack by Maoist guerrillas, who have called for a 48-hour strike in five states to protest the operations against them in West Bengal’s Lalgarh area.
Maoist rebels blew up the anti-landmine vehicle near Boramora jungle of East Singbhum district, police said as the strike came into effect. Maoist rebels also fired at the security personnel trapped inside the vehicle.

Forces have been sent to the area to rescue the personnel, an official said.

The state was on high alert as Maoists began their two-day shutdown on a violent note. A live bomb was found on a railway track in Kharsawa district.

In Dumka, four people were arrested, including Maoist leader Sanatan Baski.

“Sanatan Baski was arrested Sunday night after a firefight. Sanatan is a hard core member of the red squad of the Maoist group. Two people who were supplying arms were arrested and a fourth person was arrested as Maoist rebels used to stay in his house,” Arun Kumar Singh, Dumka superintendent of police (SP), told IANS over the phone.

Security has been intensified all over the state with no long route buses plying and national highways deserted.

Maoist rebels have called for a strike in West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar and Orissa against the operations in Lalgarh, which had been declared a virtual free zone by Maoists.

Maoist guerrillas are active in 18 of the 24 districts of Jharkhand. Nearly 1,500 people have been killed in Maoist-related violence in the last eight years.

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