A Congress worker and a police constable were killed in Jharkhand in Maoist-related violence, and trains were delayed and diverted in parts of West Bengal on Tuesday, the second day of the two-day shutdown called by the rebels.
Maoists had triggered landmine blasts in two places on Monday night between Gidhni in West Midnapore district in West Bengal and Dhalbhumgarh in Jharkhand.
Soumitra Majumder, chief public relations officer, South-Eastern Railway, said trains such as the Azad Hind Express, Lokmanya Express, Gitanjali Express, Mumbai Mail and Ahmedabad Express were diverted. “Special patrolling will be increased to arrange more security,” he said.
In Jharkhand, suspected Maoists fired at a police party in the state’s Seraikella-Kharsawan district around 1.30 a.m. on Tuesday, killing constable Kalicharan Vodhra. In another attack, a Congress worker was killed in Dumka district.
In Chhattisgarh, the shutdown call had an impact only in the Bastar region.
The railways’ top brass took stock of the situation in Delhi on Tuesday, with railway properties coming under attack and Rajdhani Express trains being increasingly targeted by Maoists — passengers on board the Bhubaneswar-New Delhi Rajdhani had a narrow escape late on Monday night when its engine and 10 coaches derailed near Gaya station, following an explosion triggered by Maoists.
The CPM condemned the attack on the railways. “We have a situation where ministers in the Union Cabinet are patronising and encouraging the Maoists,” CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury said. “The PM has to answer this.”