The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Bomb to week-long bandh Shutdown from Aug. 16

Dhanbad, Aug. 4: The Maoist Communist Centre and the People’s War have called a bandh that will stretch for a week from August 16.

The statewide bandh — the longest-ever in the state -- has been called to protest the death sentences on Naxalites charged with the infamous Beltu massacre of Hazaribagh.

The bandh plan comes close on the heels of a two-day shutdown enforced by the outfits on July 22 and 23.

“The outfits are yet to issue an official communique about the dates yet. But our sources have informed that it could be from August 16 onwards,” a police officer said.

The fresh call has spread more concern among railway authorities as the two-day disruption had paralysed the train network on the CIC section of East Central Railway’s Dhanbad division.

However, officials were unsure about the dates of the bandh. “The dates of the bandh are yet to be confirmed. But we have got information that a fresh bandh has been called,” inspector-general of police (special branch) G.S. Rath said.

The railway authorities, too, were perplexed about the exact dates of the bandh. “We have just got verbal information that there is a bandh but are yet to know the dates. We have come to know through sources that they have called a bandh,” railway protection force commandant Nurul Hoda said.

But sources in the district police said the bandh has been called by the outfits after the “success” of the two-day protest.

But, this time, the call has been made by the North Chotanagpur regional committee of both the outfits.

Many sensitive districts, including Giridih, Hazaribagh, Bokaro and Dhanbad, come under the jurisdiction of the North Chotanagpur regional committee.

Most of the violence, especially in railway zones, had been perpetrated by the Laal Dastaa (red squads) of the North Chotanagpur committee during the earlier bandhs.

The sources pointed out that the outfits have been regularly holding meetings in Peertand area of Giridih bordering Dhanbad district.

The police and civil authorities are apprehensive that the outfits might resort to large-scale violence during the week-long bandh which would continue till August 22.

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