Ranchi, May 13: Maoists have called a bandh in Bihar and Jharkhand on May 15 to protest against the arrest of top rebel Pramod Mishra.
Police sources confirmed the bandh-call, saying that it was likely to be effective in the rural areas. They also said that bus and train services were likely to be affected during the bandh despite all arrangement of the district administration to foil the attempt of extremists to disturb normal life.
“It would be good if people avoided travelling on May 15 as the Maoist may blow railway tracks or set buses on fire to mark their presence during the bandh. Though the police will be on duty, it will be difficult for them to provide security at each and every point. Above all, defence has always been a tougher job than attack,” a police officer at Tamar said requesting anonymity.
Mishra was arrested from Vinod Nagar in Dhanbad on Saturday night. The police sent him to judicial custody today, after interrogating him for more than 24 hours.
Sources said that the Jharkhand-Bihar Co-ordination Committee of CPI(Maoist) released a press communiqué on Monday announcing the bandh.
“The release requested the people to support the Maoists’ bandh and threatened of dire consequences on being violated,” sources at Palamau said, requesting anonymity.
The bandh is likely to be enforced strongly as Mishra is one of the top leaders of the Maoists, who was recently given the charge of Jharkhand.
Local Maoists, sources apprehend, would leave no stone unturned to make the bandh a grand success. This apart, it would be an occasion for the Maoists to support the revelation that Mishra made during police interrogation.
“During interrogation, Mishra said that the Maoists planned to spread in Haryana and Punjab, and capture the whole country the same way as Maoists have done in Nepal. I think the Maoist here will try to show their strength during the bandh and try to disturb the entire state machinery,” said intelligence sources.
Director-general of police V.D. Ram, however, said there was nothing to worry. “Precaution will be taken on the day. Instructions have been given to police superintendents of all districts and we will keep a vigil on the movement of extremists as before,” he said.