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Maoists blow up railway track in Bengal
November 19, 2007 18:51 IST
Maoists blew up a portion of the railway track in Sainthia-Andal section of Eastern Railways on the first day of their 48-hour shut down on Monday in West Bengal, Jharkhand and Bihar against the violence in Nandigram.
Divisional Railway Manager, Asansol, B Devsingh told reporters that three metres of the train track between Panchsura and Bhimgarh railway stations in Birbhum district was blown in the early hours of the day.
The explosion was not heard as the area near the track has no human habitation and the damage to the track was first reported to Bhimgarh station authorities by the driver of an empty goods train, which crossed the area early Monday morning.
Railway staff soon rushed to the area and found Maoist posters there protesting the violence in Nandigram, he said.
Birbhum district additional superintendent of police, Kallol Ganai said prima facie it appears to be the handiwork of the Maoists.
Train services on the route are suspended and work was on to restore the track.
A report from West Midnapur said the bandh affected the Maoist prone areas of Lalgarh, Belpahari, Jamboni and Binpur under Jhargram sub-division of the district.
Private buses were off the road and shops, schools and colleges closed.
Government offices were open but attendance was thin.
However, the sub-divisional officer R A Israil claimed that the bandh had no effect on normal life.
Meanwhile, the police were combing the Jhitka jungle after reports of a recent blast.
Naxalite posters asking for support for the 48-hour bandh had surfaced on the Midnapur-Lalgarh road on Sunday.
The bandh evoked partial response at Bandwan, Jhalda, Joypur, Balarampur and Kotsila, considered Maoist strongholds, reports from Purulia said.
At Bankura bus services remained suspended, educational institutions, shops and bazaars were closed but private and government offices remained closed, district police superintendent Rajesh Sinha said.