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Maoist bandh: Rural pockets in Ch'garh, Odisha hit

May 16, 2012 16:53 IST

Four policemen were injured in an attack by Naxals, who first triggered a landmine blast and then opened fire at them in Sukma district in Bastar region of Chhattisgarh during their 'Bharat Bandh' on Wednesday, police said.

A nation-wide bandh call was given by banned outfit CPI (Maoists) against Operation Green Hunt and the proposed National Counter Terrorism Centre.

Additional DGP (Anti-Naxal Operation) Ram Nivas said that during the 'Bharat Bandh' call, the Maoists triggered a landmine blast in Sukma district in Bastar region today, in which four police personnel were injured.

The incident took place when the police team was carrying out routine patrols.

The Naxals also opened fire at the police later. However, when the police retaliated, they escaped from the scene. The injured policemen were later taken to hospitals, Ram Nivas added.

Police also claimed to have gunned down four Maoists in a separate encounter in Bijapur district.

Meanwhile, Maoists also set on fire three vehicles, including two dumpers that were in use for road construction in Rajnandgaon district, police said.

In view of the 'Bharat Bandh' call given by Naxals, police have stepped up security in the state and put their personnel on alert.

According to police, while the transportation in urban areas has not been affected much, in the interior area it was badly hit as the ultras have dug up roads at some places and cut trees.

As part of their nation-wide bandh, Maoists on Wednesday also cut-off trees and placed them on a road leading to the temple town of Bhadrachalam in Khammam district of Andhra Pradesh.

A group of Maoists obstructed the road after cutting trees near Devarpalli in Charla mandal of Bhadrachalam division in the wee hours on Wednesday, a senior police officer of Khammam district said.

Meanwhile, a report from Khammam district said a police team and three Naxalites exchanged fire near Edugurallapalli village in which a constable sustained minor injury. However, they managed to escape from the scene, police said.

In southern Odisha, vehicular traffic was partially affected in Naxal-hit areas during a country-wide bandh called by Maoists which evoked a lukewarm response in the state.

Security was tightened in red-hit zones of Malkangiri, Koraput, Rayagada, Kandhamal, Gajapati, Nawarangpur and Ganjam districts to prevent any untoward incident during the bandh called by Srikakulam-Koraput division of CPI (Maoist).

Though government buses were suspended in the Naxal affected districts of Koraput, Kandhamal, Gajapati, Rayagada and Malkangiri, private buses and other vehicles plied as usual in these areas, official sources said.

Impact of the the bandh could be felt only in interior pockets amid closure of shops and business establishments, while in urban centres including small towns, life remained unaffected, they said.

The state-owned Odisha State Road Transport Corporation did not operate vehicles in the red-hit zones, particularly those passing through Gumuda in Rayagada district during the night hours. At least five long-route buses of the OSRTC are plying via Gumuda.

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