July 21: Security around railway property has been beefed up for the two-day bandh called by the Maoist Communist Centre of India (MCCI) from tomorrow.
Home secretary J.B. Tubid said the district and railway administration had been asked to take necessary preventive measures as the extremists are known to target railway property during bandhs.
Patrolling on rail and road routes have been intensified. “Special attention is being given to the areas identified as ‘highly sensitive’. Security has been tightened at the rail cabins lying in these zones. Police presence will be intensified along the national and state highways has been geared up,” Tubid said.
He argued that since the hilly terrain of the volatile zones was treacherous, it was difficult to claim that foolproof security arrangements had been made for the bandh.
Two battalions of central paramilitary forces have been deployed to take on the guerrillas. “We already had two battalions of the Central Reserve Police Force. One battalion was kept in reserve. All have been deployed for the bandh,” Tubid said.
Inspector-general of police (railways) I. Lakra added that all possible arrangements had been made for the smooth movement of trains during the bandh. “Going by the recent incidents in Bihar, we are taking no chances,” he said.
The MCC had blown up railway tracks in Bihar.
“There will be intensive patrolling of railway tracks in the affected areas. One pilot engine carrying armed security personnel will escort important trains,” he said.
Lakra said: “In sensitive areas, we are keeping one engine and two bogies with armed security men on alert so that they can be rushed to the spot in case of any emergency.”
A day before the bandh, the People’s War suffered a series of setbacks at the hands of the police in East Singhbhum district today.
The police repulsed heavy firing from the rebels in Dumaria and managed to arrest one of the extremists. Sub-area commander of the outfit, Maheswar Murmu, surrendered before superintendent of police Arun Kumar Oraon.
A 24-member armed squad of the PW fought a pitched battle with the district police and CRPF jawans on the outskirts of the Lango hamlet in Dumuria this morning.
The rebels fired about 50 rounds from a hillock near Lango and the district police and CRPF jawans repulsed it with heavy firing. Finding themselves on the backfoot, the guerrillas escaped towards Potka.
“A joint team of the district police and the CRPF raided several extremist strongholds in Dumaria around 7 am. When the force was returning after arresting one rebel, they were attacked by the PW squad, which was perched atop a hillock near Lango,” police sources stated.