Friday, June 12, 2009

Rebel bandh takes toll on transport

OUR BUREAU


Ranchi/Jamshedpur, June 12: While the CPI(Maoist) bandh today failed to bring the state to a standstill, road transport services took a hit in Naxalite-affected districts.

The rebels had called the bandh in six states — Jharkhand, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Bengal and Andhra Pradesh — to protest the killings of two of their comrades in Andhra Pradesh.

The worst affected areas in Jharkhand were Garhwa, Latehar, Palamau, Chatra and East Singhbhum where more than 300 buses and over 600 trucks remained parked all day. Most private business establishments also remained closed in these areas. However, the state offices functioned normally.

In Jamshedpur, commuters had a harrowing time as both private and state-owned long-distance buses stayed off the roads. Railway services were also normal. However, superintendent of police, East Singhbhum, Naveen Kumar Singh said that vehicular movements on NH-33 along the Ghatshila-Jamshedpur stretch was normal.

“There were enough policemen and paramilitary personnel at strategic locations in the district and also on the national highway,” said Singh, adding that the police were ready to escort vehicles passing through Naxalite strongholds.

Superintendent of police, Garhwa, Saket Kumar Singh, who has additional charge of Palamau, said the bandh was peaceful.

“I do not have information of any untoward incident from any part of Garhwa and Palamau. The impact was nil in the town areas,” Singh said.

President of Jharkhand Bus Owners’ Association Mohan Singh added that buses would ply at night.

The bandh, on the other hand, evoked mixed reaction in Seraikela-Kharsawan district, where the rural areas bore the brunt.

At Chandil and Chowka, the bandh was complete. Not only shops and business establishments downed shutters, state offices, schools, banks and post offices remained closed too.

Even all industrial units had to skip work while villagers had to shun the weekly haats.

Although life was normal in Ghatshila township, interior areas like Dumaria, Ghurabandha, Musabani and Potka wore a deserted look.

However, people of Chaibasa in West Singhbhum defied the Naxalites diktat. With the landmine explosion in neighbouring Saranda forest still fresh on their minds, people came out of their houses for their daily chores. Hence, state offices, banks, shops and schools remained open.

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