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Naxals block Chhattisgarh roads to enforce strike

Maoists dug up roads and placed landmines at several busy areas in Chhattisgarh to enforce their strike.

india Updated: Nov 02, 2006 14:04 IST

Maoists of the banned Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) dug up roads and placed landmines at several busy areas in Chhattisgarh to enforce their weeklong strike to protest the state government's sixth anniversary celebrations.

The strike by the leftist extremist outfit in their hotbed in the southern parts began on November 1, to coincide with the Nov 1-7 government functions at the headquarters of all the 16 districts.

The functions are being held to showcase the development and progress achieved by the state since it was carved out from Madhya Pradesh in Nov 1, 2000.

Maoists have flooded the interior and inaccessible forested parts of the 40,000-sq-km Bastar region, that includes the worst-hit Dantewada district, with banners and posters asking people to boycott anniversary celebrations.

They have announced to completely halt normal life in Bastar during the celebrations and most transporters kept their vehicles off the road on the first day of the strike on Wednesday.

According to home department officials, Maoists have blocked roads in the interior Bastar areas with trees and dug up roads in some areas. They have also placed landmines at several busy places, especially where police and paramilitary forces are deployed.

"The CPI-Maoist asks people of Bastar not to join in the government's anniversary celebrations as it is fighting for a separate liberated Bastar state," said banner and posters of the rebels.

Those going against the CPI-Maoist decision to boycott the functions will be produced at a jan adalat, or public courts where Maoists punish people in public.

Chhattisgarh is among the worst Maoist insurgency hit states. Officials say 374 people, including 298 civilians, have been killed in the state in extremist violence till September.

First Published: Nov 02, 2006 14:04 IST