Normal life was hit in the forested areas of Chhattisgarh for the second consecutive day on Monday as the Maoists continued their January 2-8 protest week against the conviction of rights activist Binayak Sen and two others, police said.
The protest against the Dec 24 court verdict awarding life terms to Sen, Maoist ideologue Narayan Sanyal and Kolkata-based businessman Piyush Guha on sedition charges, has also hit iron ore shipments by NMDC Ltd from its key mines in Bailadila-based mining facilities in Dantewada district as East Coast Railway has refused to provide rakes during the night fearing attacks on its facilities.
"Though the security was heightened in Maoist stronghold Bastar 40,000 sq km area, people are preferring to remain indoors to obey Maoists dictate. Transporters have also kept vehicles off the road even from national highways in Bijapur and Dantewada districts," a senior police officer posted in the Bastar region told IANS.
He said Maoists have blocked dozens of roads by felling trees in interiors of all the five districts of Bastar region - Narayanpur, Kanker, Bastar, Bijapur and Dantewada.
India's largest iron ore producer and exporter NMDC Ltd too has been feeling the fallout of Sen's conviction as its iron ore transportation has been hit at least by 20% of the total daily dispatches of about 56,000 tonnes.
A company official said its shipment has not been hit in day time but the railways have withdrawn their rakes during the night and that has disrupted shipments.