Monday, October 12, 2009

Maoists attack railway station, blast government office in Bihar

Patna: Maoist guerrillas attacked a railway station, set ablaze a cabin room, blasted a rail track, a government office and a mobile phone tower in different parts of Bihar to enforce their strike, officials said Tuesday.
Armed Maoists Monday night attacked Banshipur railway station in Lakhisarai, about 150 km from here, ransacked its office and set it ablaze. They also held about half a dozen railway officials, including the station master, hostage for over an hour.

"Maoists damaged the control panel and burnt official documents and tickets," said an official of Banshipur station on the Patna-Kiul section of East-Central Railway.

In a separate incident, the rebels blew up a rail track in Jamui district and the Sangrampur block development office in Munger district late Monday night.

Earlier, Maoists had blown up a mobile phone tower in Aurangabad district and dug up a village road also, an official said.

The outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) has called for a two-day strike in five states, including Bihar, to protest the central government's decision to step up its operations against the rebels. The strike has also been called to protest alleged police repression in the name of anti-Maoist operations.

The strike call by the Maoists had evoked a mixed response in Bihar Monday -- urban areas remained unaffected but normal life was hit in rural areas.

An official in the home department said the Maoist strike call evoked no response in urban areas including Patna, Gaya, Muzaffarpur, Bhagalpur and Purnea. But it had affected life in some rural parts that are considered Maoist strongholds in Aurangabad, Jehanabad, Arwal and Gaya districts.

"Business establishments and educational institutions were affected by the strike in Gaya, Aurangabad and Arwal," the official said.

"A red alert has been sounded and police officers have been asked to keep extra vigil," Additional Director General (police headquarters) Neelmani said.

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