Saturday, October 26, 2013

India - Maoist bandh cripples life in Sherghati sub-division


GAYA: The bandh call given by the Maoists to register their protest against the Laxmanpur Bathe judgment, in which all the convicts including the 16 earlier awarded death sentences by the trial court, were acquitted by the Patna High Court for lack of evidence, brought life to a near standstill in the major part of Sherghati subdivision of Gaya district, south of GT road on Thursday. The maximum impact of the bandh was felt in the Dumaria, Imamganj, Banke Bazar and Raushanganj police station areas of the district. According to reports reaching the divisional headquarters from the bandh-affected areas, commercial bank branches, shops and even block offices remained closed. Roads in the bandh-affected areas wore a deserted look as even motorcyclists complied with the Red diktat. Interestingly, the bandh had little impact under Sherghati subdivision area of the district, a former Red bastion.
It was in the Tekari subdivision area that the Maoists have conducted major operations including the Bara massacre, daylight attack on the Tekari police station, attack on the Tekari block and loot of weapons from the Tekari block guards and attack on the then Alipur police picket (Alipur was subsequently made a full-fledged police station). When contacted, Gaya SSP Nishant Tiwari said no report of any untoward incident had been received from any part of the district. However, the threat was not over till the time of reporting as the bandh will continue till the zero hours on Friday. There would be no lowering of guard and special measures have been taken to protect the likely targets including railway tracks and government buildings, said Tiwari.
Asked about the impact of the bandh, the SSP said that the impact was localized to some areas south of the GT road. Aurangabad SP U K Sharma claimed ‘normalcy’ in the district. The police was on the high alert in the district. Extra vigil was being maintained around soft targets. Aurangabad, only a few days back, witnessed landmine blast ostensibly for the same reason for which the bandh call has been given (Laxmanpur Bathe judgment). Asked about the progress in the blast case, the SP said that with one more named accused surrendering before the court, two of the seven named accused were in jail now.
Efforts were also being made to arrest two more persons whose complicity has been found during the investigation. About the ambiguity over the identity of the blast engineers on account of the named accused not having any recorded history of Red association, the Aurangabad SP said that ‘basically’ it was a Maoist operation and it was not necessary for all the participants to have ‘Maoist links’. The SP did not rule out some other secondary considerations including local political rivalry. But that does not mean that it was not a ‘Maoist operation’, said Sharma.

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