Maoist strike call gets good response in Jharkhand

April 16th, 2008 - 8:54 pm ICT by admin  

(Lead)

Ranchi, April 16 (IANS) Maoist guerrillas blew up a four-metre long rail track in Giridih district and set a truck on fire in Jharkhand early Wednesday while enforcing a 24-hour shutdown, the police said. About 20 rebels of the outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) blasted the rail track between Hazaribagh Road and Parasnath railway stations around 2 a.m.

The blast affected rail traffic in the Grand Chord section of Jharkhand, the main line that connects eastern and northern India. Eight trains have been cancelled while seven have been diverted, railway officials said.

In another incident, Maoist rebels set a truck on fire near Tamar block on the Ranchi-Jamshedpur National Highway. Long route buses did not ply, coal transportation was affected and roads in rural areas wore a deserted look.

Maoist strike received a good response in rural areas of Hazaribagh, Ranchi, Chatra, Garwah, Gumla and other districts. In these districts, a large number of government schools were closed in rural areas. Railway services were also affected by the Maoist strike.

“Barring a few minor incidents, the strike was by and large peaceful,” said R.K. Mallik, Jharkhand police spokesperson.

Heavy security arrangements were made to meet the Maoist strike. Additional security forces were deployed at important government installations.

Maoists called for a 24-hour shutdown to protest the killing of eight rebels by security forces in Garwah district earlier this month.

Maoist rebels are active in 18 of the 24 districts of the state. Since Jharkhand was carved out of Bihar in 2000, 614 civilians and 290 security personnel have been killed in the state in Maoist related violence.

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