Border districts on alert over bandh
Pradip Kumar Maitra, Hindustan Times
Nagpur, July 28, 2007
First Published: 19:57 IST(28/7/2007)
Last Updated: 01:03 IST(29/7/2007)
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Tension prevailed in the jungle areas of Gadchiroli, Chandrapur and Gondia districts of the state, bordering Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, after a call by the Communist Party of India (Maoist) for a week-long bandh to commemorate their 'Martyr Day', starting Saturday.
According to reports, the Naxalites have given the call ostensibly to commemorate the 35th death anniversary of their founder Charu Majumder, who died in police custody in Kolkata on July 28, 1972.
The state police are taking adequate precautions in view of the bandh, and have sounded a high alert in the Naxal attack-prone border districts.
The Maoist rebels are seemingly determined to bring these districts, particularly the interior areas, to a complete standstill during the period. They have distributed pamphlets in this regard and have appealed to villagers to ensure the bandh is observed.
On Saturday, the police recovered 23 kg of explosives allegedly planted by Naxalites from two areas in Gadchiroli.
Personnel from the Anti-Naxal Cell in Gadchiroli were on their way to patrolling Korchi village when they discovered explosives planted along the road leading to Bori village, aimed at blowing up passing vehicles. The police also recovered two detonators from the spot.
In the other incident, the patrolling party recovered 9 kg of explosives near Jafrabad Hills in the same district.
Talking to Hindustan Times, Additional Director General of Police, Anti-Naxal Cell, Pankaj Gupta asserted that the police were determined to spoil any Naxalite design. "A massive police bandobast has been made in all the affected districts. Police patrolling in all the sensitive areas has also been spruced up in view of possible violence," Gupta informed.
Last week Naxalites had kidnapped two engineers from a mining firm also in Gadchiroli, and released them the following day. The engineers were monitoring tree-felling work in the Surajagarh Hills region when around 100 Maoists stormed the site and also abducted the local range forest officer and three forest personnel.