Saturday, January 24, 2009

Naxalite bandh paralyses Palamau for days

RAJ KUMAR

A deserted bus stand in Chatra. Telegraph picture
Ranchi, Jan. 23: For the past three days, residents of Chatra and Palamau have been living an unusual life.

They have not come out of their homes, children are not going to school while shops and business establishments have remained closed. All out of fear of People’s Liberation Front of India (PLFI) that has called a week-long bandh in the two districts. Though the bandh was called off today at Palamau, normal life continued to be affected in Chatra.

The worst affected areas in the district are Tandwa and Pathargadda. “Police tried to run buses, but the drivers and conductors were not willing to work while the passengers preferred to remain at home. People are so terrified of Naxalites that they are not willing to take any risks,” a resident said. Latehar MLA Prakash Ram admitted that he did not venture out of home while Daltonganj MLA and former assembly speaker Inder Singh Namdhari said: “I was asked to postpone programmes at remote areas.”

However, Chatra police superintendent Akhilesh Jha maintained that the bandh had no major impact on normal life. “Baring movement of buses, everything was normal. Shops, schools and government offices were open,” he claimed.

Sources said PLFI wants to continue the bandh in Chatra till Monday. “We want to prove our strength in the area as police in the area are patronising Tritiya Prastuti Committee,” a senior member of PLFI said.

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