Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Maoist ‘Agency bandh’ partial, peaceful

VISAKHAPATNAM/KARIMNAGAR/KHAMMAM: The Maoists’ call for bandh in the Agency areas on the border of Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh to protest against the Kanchala encounter of March 18 in which 17 Maoists were killed passed off peacefully on Monday.

Apprehending violence following the recent attack on the Gumada railway station in Vizianagaram district, the police beefed up security in the Agency areas but, surprisingly, the Maoists restrained from resorting to any spectacular strike except disconnecting power supply in the neighbouring Chhattisgarh.

The bandh had little or no response in the villages in the agency areas and the local politicians were advised not to visit interior areas in view of the threat to their lives from the Maoists. Government offices, schools and also business outlets in most of the villages were open.

Police personnel were deployed for vehicle checking and combing operations to avoid any untoward incidents.

RTC buses too were operated without any problem. However, the night-halt buses were cancelled.

According to this website's newspaper reports, the bandh evoked little response and no untoward incidents have been reported from Warangal and Karimnagar districts.

The police had been on high alert for the past one week and took up search operations including checking of vehicles.

The bandh call evoked partial response in Khammam district. All government offices, petrol bunks, cinema halls and commercial complexes remained open in the district.

However the bandh was partial in Charla, Venkatapuram and Chintur mandals of Bhadrachalam division.

As a precautionary measure the RTC suspended services to rural areas in the district. Police deployed additional forces in the Agency areas.

Police intensified combing operations in the border area and heavy bandobust was arranged at all police stations situated on the border. Greyhound personnel took control of the border area to prevent Maoist infiltration from Chhattisgarh.

Superintendent of police D S Chowhan said no violent incident had taken place in view of the heavy deployment of police. Vehicles at the border areas were thoroughly checked, he added.

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