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2-day Maoists blockade start today

Chhattisgarh

BASTAR (CHHATTISGARH): Tension prevailed in the parts of Chhattisgarh as Maoists began their two-day economic blockade on Tuesday. Two tribal civil militia members were killed overnight. Railway tracks were damaged to halt transportation of iron ore to Andhra Pradesh.

"Rebels axed to death two tribal members of the civil militia movement Salwa Judum in an overnight attack in Bijapur district. The guerrillas also halted the transportation of iron ore from Dantewada district's Bailadila hills to Visakhapatnam by damaging railway tracks at several points on Monday," a police official told media.

The outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) has called for an economic blockade Tuesday and Wednesday to protest the alleged exploitation of the state's natural resources by private and public firms. The rebels claim the resources belong exclusively to the locals of the area.

They are also opposed to the formation of special economic zones (SEZs) in various parts of the country.

The Bastar region in southern Chhattisgarh, spread across 40,000 sq km, is rich in minerals and forest resources. It is home to several private companies, including Essar Steel Ltd, and India's largest public sector iron ore producer and exporter National Mineral Development Corporation Ltd (NMDC).

Normal life has been thrown out of gear in the interior areas of five districts in the Bastar region - Narayanpur, Bijapur, Bastar, Kanker and Dantewada. Transporters have kept their vehicles off the road fearing attacks by Maoists. The rebels, however, have exempted ambulances and school buses from the strike.

The Chhattisgarh government has beefed up security at railway stations, highways, government installations and iron ore rich regions to foil Maoist attacks during the blockade.

Maoists have a strong presence in the Bastar region and even run a parallel government in some areas.

According to police estimates, around 5,000 hardcore Maoists armed with AK-47 rifles and landmines, backed by nearly 20,000 cadres, are active in southern Chhattisgarh's hilly terrain.


Orissa

Economic blockade: Security beefed up
Tuesday June 26 2007 07:21 IST

BHUBANESWAR: Security was beefed up along the railway tracks and in running trains a day before the CPI (Maoist)-sponsored economic blockade beginning Tuesday.

The Railway Protection Force (RPF) Chief Security Commissioner AK Agarwal held discussion with the IG (Railways) Gopabandhu Mallick over the issue on Monday. It was informed that adequate measures have been taken to prevent violence . Foot patrolling by plainclothed securitymen has been intensified on certain routes.

Twenty pockets have been identified as highly sensitive where round the clock vigil will be maintained till end of the two-day blockade. Similarly, a control room would operate to coordinate security arrangement on railway tracks.

There were plans to cancel train movement on Visakhapatnam-Kirondul (East Coast Railway) and Rourkela- Barsuan (South Eastern Railway) if necessary.

Last Thursday, the extremists had attacked a goods train at Darliput in Koraput bordering Andhra Pradesh.

Home secretary Tarun Kanti Mishra said, police have been asked to maintain extra vigil during the two days due to the agitation.

However, no security extra measure has been taken at Kalinga Nagar or at the proposed Posco Steel Plant site near Paradip. Meanwhile, the Maoists blocked connectivity between Malkangiri and Kalimela by putting logs on the roads.

www.newindpress.com

Bihar- Jharghand-UP

Police rebel hunt beyond borders

June 25: Inter-state borders will no longer come in the way of police pursuing Maoists, resolved senior officers of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand at a meeting at Patna on Monday.

Police of one state will now be free to chase rebels into another state, indicated officials after the meeting.

The four-hour meeting, on the eve of the two-day economic blockade call given by the CPI (Maoist) to protest economic policies of the government, briefed Bihar home secretary Afzal Amanullah, took stock of the Naxalite menace.

A “free border”, it was felt, is necessary to counter armed rebels, who often take advantage of inter-state borders to sneak into one state from another, when pursued.

States were put on high alert as suspected Maoists disrupted train movement in Bastar (Chhattisgarh) and exploded a powerful bomb at a railway station in north Bihar, damaging parts of the station building and injuring two people.

Maoists are likely to target goods trains and trucks, claimed officials, in addition to disrupting dispatch of coal and iron ore from the mines. Security personnel would find it difficult to intercept the rebels in hilly terrains and in dense forests, siad officials as they braced to meet the challenge.

Mehsi railway station in East Champaran, close to Muzaffarpur, witnessed an explosion very early on Monday morning when the bomb, strung from a bicycle, exploded. Suspected Maoists had attacked Howrah-bound Bagh Express last week and killed two GRP jawans.

At Ranchi, four passenger trains were cancelled as a precautionary measure. They include two Delhi-bound trains, Rajdhani Express and Jharkhand Swarnajayanti Express.

Ranchi-Varanasi Inter-City Express stands cancelled on Monday and Tuesday, said South Eastern Railway officials, and so is tomorrow’s Ranchi-bound train from Varanasi. Routes of several other trains have been diverted.

Apprehensive railway employees in Chhattisgarh submitted a memorandum requesting the stoppage of trains during night hours over the next two days on the Kirandul-Visakhapatnam section, in view of the blockade. Two dozen goods trains ferry iron ore every day from Dantewada in Chhattisgarh to Visakhapatnam port.

Additional security forces have been deployed in Bastar, which had been plunged into darkness after Maoists blew up three transmission towers earlier this month.

It took 11 days for power to get restored, forcing National Mineral Development Corporation and Essar Steel, to suspend their operation.

Officials kept their fingers crossed while increasing patrolling on railway tracks and highways. Additional gangmen have been pressed into service to keep a vigil over railway tracks and alert stations.

www.telegraphindia.com

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posted by Resistance 6/26/2007 12:49:00 PM,

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