Mixed response to Maoist bandh in five states | india | Hindustan Times
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Mixed response to Maoist bandh in five states

india Updated: May 18, 2010 18:56 IST

The 48-hour bandh called by Maoists in five states evoked mixed response on the first day on Tuesday even as the Railways, a soft target of Left wing extremists, took adequate measures to thwart attack on trains.

The bandh was called in Chattisgarh -- the scene of the deadly landmine blast that claimed 35 lives yesterday, West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand and Orissa in protest against security operations against Maoists.

In Jharkhand, the ultras torched a tractor at Paradih village. Barring this, there was no untoward incident till late in the afternoon, official sources said here.

While the bandh was felt in most rural areas of Kolhan, Chhotanagpur and Palamau divisions, normal life remained unaffected in urban areas. However, the bandh flopped in Santhal Pargana region which comprises 7 of the state's 24 districts.

Long distance buses stayed off the national highways and loading and unloading in mining areas were affected as trucks did not ply.

As a precautionary measure, the Railways cancelled and diverted some long-distance trains passing through Jharkhand and Orissa.

Vehicular traffic was also affected in various areas of Malkangiri and Koraput districts of Orissa bordering Chhattisgarh.

In two Maoist-hit districts of West Midnapore and Purulia in West Bengal, the bandh was near total with no private vehicle on the road and all shops, schools and offices remaining closed in the forested areas, collectively known as Jungle Mahal.

Tension was palpable in Chattisgarh where Maoists blew up a private bus using improvised explosive device in the second major attack in Dantewada in as many months. On April six, 75 CRPF jawans and one policeman were killed in a Naxal ambush.

Heavy security arrangements have been made in the state following Monday's blast.

There was no report of any untoward incident from Bihar where a special alert has been sounded in view of the bandh call.