Saturday, February 06, 2010

Maoists blow up railway tracks; kill officials ahead of shutdown

Maoists attacks have been reported ahead of a 72-hour shutdown call given by them from Sunday across the four states of Jharkhand, Bihar, Orissa and West Bengal. A railway official has been killed and a railway track has been blown up near Narganjo in Bihar.

Two other railway tracks on the Delhi-Howrah route have also been damaged affecting train services between Howrah and Delhi. There are also reports of a railway supervisor being killed on the Jharkhand-Orissa border. West Bengal has been put on a state of high alert after Maoists killed a CPM leader near Veerbhum.

Several trains have been cancelled and a few trains including the Ranchi Rajdhani Express have been diverted to avoid untoward incidents. All four states are on high alert ahead of the shutdown and extra vigilance is being maintained by police stations in the Naxal-affected districts.

Additional forces of Special Auxiliary Police, Bihar Military Police and central para-military forces have also been deployed. The shutdown has been called to protest against joint police operations in the four states. Union Home Minister P Chidambaram is to visit West Bengal on February 9 to assess the security situation in the state.

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