Pro-Maoist shutdown hits life of three Bengal districts

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

KOLKATA - The second day of the 72-hour shut down called by the pro-Maoist group - Peoples’ Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPA) - evoked partial response in parts of three Maoist-affected West Bengal districts Tuesday.

The tribal group is observing the shutdown to protest against the Jan 7 killing of seven people allegedly by assailants backed by the state’s ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) in Netai village near Lalgarh.

No buses moved on the roads in Junglemahal - the forest areas of West Midnapore, Purulia and Bankura districts where the Maoists have their strongholds. Shops and other business establishments remained closed, causing problems to the local population.

“Though some government offices were open, attendance was very poor. However, things have been quite peaceful so far,” West Midnapore Additional Police Superintendent (Operations) Mukesh Kumar told IANS over phone.

The shutdown was total in Bankura’s Sarenga, Barikul, Ranibandh and Simlipal areas, while it evoked partial response in areas like Khatra, Erbanda and other neighbouring places, Bankura police chief Pranav Kumar said.

The shutdown was also observed by the tribal people of Bandoan, Bagmundi, Arsa, Balarampur, Jhalda areas near Ayodhya Hills, which is known as the present core area of the Maoists in West Bengal.

Security arrangements have been beefed up in the entire Junglemahal area. Following the Jan 7 incident, the security personnel have been asked to be extra vigilant and several check posts have been set up in Lalgarh area in West Midnapore district to thwart any untoward incidents, said a senior police officer.

Filed under: Terrorism

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