Five trains were cancelled and buses went off roads in Bihar on Wednesday as a two-day Maoist strike began amid tight security and fear of violence in the state, officials said.
Some trains were diverted. "Hundreds of passengers cancelled their tickets in the last one day," said an official at the ticket counter of the Patna railway junction.
The cancelled trains include the Patna-Barka Kana Singrauli Express, Barka Kana-Patna Express, Barwadih-Dehri On Sone Passenger and the Singrauli-Garhwa Express, an official of the East Central Railway said.
Dilip Kumar, the chief public relations officer of the East Central Railway, said railways have taken precautionary measures as trains are soft targets for Maoists.
He said that pilot engines would escort the trains during the day time in Maoist-affected areas.
Public road transport was hit in some rural areas as long-route buses were not plying fearing violence.
Rural markets in Gaya, Aurangabad, Jehanabad and Arwal were closed.
"No violence was reported in the state after Maoists began their strike at midnight Tuesday," Additional Director General of Police P K Thakur said.
An alert has been sounded in the state and adequate security arrangements are in place, he said.
"All the district superintendents of police have been directed to intensify patrolling and deploy additional security forces at vital installations, including railway stations," Thakur said.
The outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist called for a two-day strike to protest the killing of their top Maoist leader Cherukuri Rajkumar alias Azad in an alleged police shootout in Andhra Pradesh. Maoists claim Azad was killed in a staged gunfight after being arrested in Nagpur in Maharashtra.