Monday, June 02, 2008

Maoists blow up railway track, SDO's office during bandh

Patna (PTI): The banned CPI (Maoist) rebels on Monday blew up a railway track in Jamui district, blasted a portion of the SDO's office and looted foodgrains from an FCI godown in adjoining Munger district during the 24-hour bandh called in five east Bihar districts.

The shutdown was called to protest the recent arrest of their five cadres.

Traffic on Patna-Howrah line was disrupted when Naxalites blasted the up track between Narganjo and Ghorparan stations in Jamui district around 3.20 am, superintendent of railway police, Jamalpur, Vimal Kumar told PTI.

The cargo van of Poorvanchal Express, which happened to cross the breached track soon after the blast, got derailed, but no casualty was reported.

Several trains, including Howrah-Delhi Janata Express, Howrah-Danapur Express, Tata-Gorakhpur Express, Tata-Danapur Express and Amritsar-Danapur Express, were stranded at various stations, railway sources said.

The restoration work has started and it would take a few hours before normal traffic resumes, sources said.

Around the same time, over a hundred Maoists blew up a portion of the office of Kharagpur sub-divisional officer.

Though no casualty was reported as nobody was present at the time of the incident, a room of the SDO's office was completely destroyed. The Naxalites also looted several sacks of foodgrains from an adjoining FCI godown, Munger, District SP Shalin said.

The Maoists have called a 24-hour bandh since midnight to protest the arrest of their five comrades, including a member of its Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal and North Chhattisgarh Special Area Committee Sunil Marandi in Lakhisarai District on May 30.

A pamphlet circulated on behalf of Jamui, Munger, Banka, Bhagalpur and Lakhisarai zonal committees said the bandh has been called to protest police atrocities on the Maoist guerrillas and the arrest of their five comrades.

Among those arrested in a joint operation by the Lakhisarai and Jamui police was Sunil Marandi alias Sunil Hembram, special area committee member of Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal and north Chhattisgarh.

Sunil was wanted in several cases of attack and murder of policemen, including the killing of Munger district superintendent of police K C Surendra Babu a few years ago.

Police sources said patrolling has been intensified and commandoes of the state police and central para-military forces were maintaining strict vigil and the entire has been put on high alert.

With the ultras targeting railway property, round-the-clock patrolling of tracks was going on with the help of additional forces at vulnerable stations.

Last week, activists of the banned CPI (Maoist) blew up railway tracks at Masudan station in Munger district, disrupting train movements on Jamalpur-Malda section of East Central Railway.

Over 100 ultras detonated dynamites to damage a stretch of 15 feet tracks in both up and down lines near the outer signal on May 26, disrupting the Jamalpur-Malda section for several hours.

The influence of Maoists has been growing in rural areas of Bihar due to agrarian problems and the naxal leaders say that they are fighting for the rights of the poor peasants and landless labourers.

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