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Red bandh hits trade, forces cars off roads

Bhagalpur, June 17: Life in rural parts of eastern Bihar districts came to a grinding halt after the Maoists called a second daylong bandh today in protest against the killing of two of its comrades.

The rebels targeted a private construction company at Belhar in Banka and damaged its vehicles. According to Belhar police station house officer Anil Paswan, around 1.30am, more than 24 Maoists raided a government dharamsala at Jilibiamore, where AK Construction operates its makeshift office.

The rebels burnt an earthmover and damaged two motorcycles. They also tried to damage the tractor of the company while hurling a bomb at it. Paswan said: “The Naxalites beat the employees and injured the driver of the earthmover, Subodh Yadav, and the munsi, Rakesh Kumar. The two were admitted to Belhar primary health centre from where they were referred to Banka Sadar hospital.”

Residents faced a harrowing time at Kotoria, Suia, Chandan, Bounsi and other places on Tuesday. The shutdown call had been given after two Naxalites, Rajendra Rai and Karo Rai of Jhajha in Jamui, were killed.

On June 15, the Maoists had called a dawn-to-dusk bandh against the incident, said Pragati, a spokesperson of the Naxalites. Pragati told The Telegraph over phone that Rajendra and Karo were killed while trying to settle a land dispute at Bundeldih, a tribal dominated village.

He added: “Two former Maoists, Kali Yadav and Baiju Yadav, killed Rajendra and Karo and burnt their bodies with their motorcycle in the Hardiya forest area.”

The superintendent of police, Banka Puskar Anand, said intensive combing operations have been stepped up with the CRPF from Monday in search of Naxalites.

“Different places in Jamui like Jhajha, Narganjo, Simultala, Sono, Batia, Chakai, Khaira and others wore a deserted look where all business and other establishments remained closed. It’s marriage season and such frequent bandhs have hit the market badly,” said Arun Kumar, a cloth shop owner at Thelwa Bazar in Jamui.

Even traffic was affected in rural parts of Jamui, Banka, Munger and Lakhisarai. The bandh, however, could not have much impact at places like Munger and Lakhisarai but there was no vehicular movement.