Monday, June 22, 2009

Violence mars Maoist bandh as Govt puts 5 states on alert

Agencies Posted online: Monday , Jun 22, 2009 at 1341 hrs

New Delhi : The Union Home Ministry has issued an alert to Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Orissa and Chattisgarh in the wake of two day bandh call given by the Maoists starting from Monday.

The CPI (Maoist) called for a two day shut down in five eastern states to protest the re capturing of Lalgarh in West Bengal by security forces.

Additional Secretary (Naxal Management) in Home Ministry DRS Chaudhary said the intelligence agencies reported, "demonstrative acts of violence" by the guerillas and the same inputs has been shared with the respective states and asked to take precautionary and pre-emptive measures.

Intelligence agencies reported that the left extremists might target the economic infrastructure such as trains, buses, railway, bus stations and other places where people are likely to gather in significant numbers.

Meanwhile, after recapturing Lalgarh police station, troops consisting of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Border Security Force (BSF) and West Bengal policemen are advancing towards Ramgarh, sanitizing road and other connecting routes, and took control of 17 more villages held by Maoists.

According to police sources the forces are focusing on to wrest the Barapelia, Chotopelia and Dalilpurchak in West Midnapore district where top Maoist leaders, including Koteshwar Rao, were said to be holed up.

Barapelia is the heaquarters of Maoist-backed People''s Committee against Police Atrocity (PCPA) and hometown of its chief Chatradhar Mahato.

In a statement Union Home Minster P Chidambaram described the situation in Lalgarh as tense and asked politicians, people and the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to keep away from the conflict area.

Chidambaram also said every effort will be made to maintain law and order and to ensure security of people, but the people should also remain vigilant and cooperate with the police and other security personnel.

Maoists trigger landmine blast in Jharkhand

Jamshedpur: The CPI(Maoist) triggered a landmine blast at Baramara in Ghatsila sub-division of Jharkhand on Monday , the first day of the 48-hour bandh by the outfit in five states but there was no casualty or damage.

East Singhbhum superintendent of police Navin Kumar Singh, who rushed to the spot, said the Maoists had targeted an anti-landmine vehicle but could not cause any major damage to it.

A combing operation has been launched in the area, adjacent to West Midnapore district, in which Lalgarh is located, to flush out the extremists from there, Singh said.

Stringent security measures have been taken up by the East Singhbhum district and the police there were alerted, particularly in Ghatsila, due to its proximity to Lalgarh.

The Maoist outfit has called the bandh to protest against the combined security forces operation at Lalgarh.

2 Maoists gunned down in Orissa

Two Maoists were gunned down in a fierce gun battle with police in Orissa's Naxal-hit Malkangiri early today as a 48-hour bandh called by the ultras began in five states, including Orissa. The ultras, aged between 25 and 30 years, were killed during the exchange of fire at MV-12 area near here in the early hours, Malkangiri district superintendent of police Satyabrat Bhoi said.

The gun battle took place when a team of police and jawans of the elite Special Operation Group (SOG) were conducting a combing operation in a forest area and the ultras opened fire from their hide-out, he said.

Two pistols and some cartridges were recovered from the site, Bhoi said adding that the ultras belonged to a small group engaged in an operation against the newly recruited special police officers (SPO). The operation had been launched after three Maoists opened fire during a checking by the police here last night and escaped into the forest. No one was injured in the incident.

A high alert has been sounded in the entire district after the incident and patrolling intensified, especially in view of the 48-hour bandh called by Maoists in five states including Orissa and West Bengal from today. No untoward incident has so far been reported during the bandh which affected normal life in some pockets of districts like Malkangiri, Rayagada and Koraput where shops remained closed and vehicles were off the road.

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