The Maoists Tuesday called for a 48-hour shutdown from June 30 in five states - West Bengal, Jharkhand, Orissa, Bihar and Chhattisgarh - to protest the disinvestment policy of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.
"We will protest against the UPA's decision to disinvest 10 percent in Coal India and Hindustan Copper," West Bengal state committee secretary of the outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) Khokon said.
He added that the decision on the shutdown was taken by the party's politburo member Koteshwar Rao alias Kishenji.
"The Maoists will also observe a protest week from June 23 to June 29, when campaigns and demonstrations against the UPA's disinvestment policy would be held," he said.
Apart from the five states, the Maoists have also called a shutdown in three districts of Maharashtra and two districts of Madhya Pradesh.
But for the first time, the rebels have decided to exempt essential services including railways, electricity, ambulances, water, milk, vegetable and newspapers from the purview of the strike.
Kishenji, chief of the CPI-Maoists' Peoples' Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA), also blamed the UPA government for ensuring safe passage to then Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) CEO Warren Anderson from Bhopal in the wake of the 1984 gas tragedy that killed thousands, Khokon said.
First Published: Jun 22, 2010 20:43 IST