Maoists call bandh on May 24
Tension is brewing in the border districts of Chandrapur, Gadchiroli and Gondia in eastern Vidarbha region in the wake of the Naxalite bandh, called by the CPI (Maoist) on May 24 in protest against the recent arrest of four alleged Naxalites, including Murali Satya Reddy and Arun Ferreira, at Nagpur last week.
According to reports reaching Nagpur on Friday, Maoists are determined to bring these districts---bordering Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh--- to a complete standstill on May 24. They have distributed pamphlets and leaflets in this regard and appealed the villagers for ensuring its success.
Anticipating Maoist violence in three troubled districts during the bandh, additional police force is being deployed in the region to tackle the situation. Moreover, police patrolling in all the sensitive areas has also been spruced up in view of possible violence. "We have received the information about the Naxalite designs and are ready to face any eventuality," asserted Pankaj Gupta, inspector general of police (IGP), anti-Naxalite cell.
The intelligence inputs have also warned that the ultra-leftists can trigger large-scale violence using sophisticated arms and landmine blasts. Maoists are trying to mobilise tribals of these districts by instigating them that police were torturing the alleged Naxalites at Nagpur.
The secretary of North Gadchiroli-Gondia-Balaghat and Rajnandgaon division, Murali, the communication expert of the outfit, Ferreira and two others were arrested by the police in Nagpur when they were trying to hold a secret meeting at Deekshabhoomi on May 8. All are now in police custody and would be sent to Mumbai for the narco-analysis and brain-mapping tests soon.