Maoists blow up train tracks

Ranchi/Bokaro: Maoists blew up train tracks in three places in the Dhanbad railway division disrupting traffic for hours, while security forces foiled an attempt to target them and recovered two improvised explosive devices (IEDs) planted on a road in Bokaro district on Monday during the 24-hour strike called by the rebels to protest price rise.

In Bokaro’s Gomia block, around 100 armed Maoists took out a procession in the wee hours and blew up the tracks on the Jageshwar Vihar-Daniya-Chainpur routes. The traffic on the important Coal India Chord (CIC) section under the Dhanbad division remained disrupted from 2am to 10.30am till the tracks were restored.

On the same route, the extremists damaged the tracks near Daniya railway station in Bokaro district, forcing the railways to cancel the Barkakana-Chunar passenger and the Gomoh-Barkakana passenger.

Train tracks were also blown up on the Barkakana-Muri route near Mael station in the early morning in Ramgarh district.

Additional divisional railway manager of Dhanbad R N Manjhi said the traffic resumed on the routes after the tracks were repaired, a few hours after the blasts.

During the 24-hour strike that began at midnight on Sunday, the rebels snatched wireless sets from railway staff at Daniya and put up banners and posters at different places in Gomia and in few places at Nawadih block in Bokaro district. The Gomia-Lalpania road was partially damaged in a landmine blast.

Security forces recovered two IEDs planted on a road between Rehawan and Jhumra in Mahuatand of Bokaro district. District police chief Saket Singh said the recovered IEDs meant for security forces were destroyed. “The railway tracks were damaged by the Maoists in Gomia, while banners were seized from several places,” he said. They tried to disrupt road traffic on the Gomia-Vishnugarh route by felling trees.

The rebels also targeted vehicles in Kasmar block and set ablaze a vehicle in Trionala situated on Hisim hill.

Meanwhile, loading of mineral was disrupted in Garhwa, Lohardaga and West Singbhum districts as no labourers reached the sites.

Rural markets remained closed and no long-distance buses plied in the state. Heavy vehicles were seen stranded in different parts of Garhwa district since midnight creating immense difficulties for passengers. Jharkhand police spokesperson R K Mallick said apart from the damage on rail tracks, no untoward incident was reported.

Security arrangements were beefed up and patrolling was intensified on the national and state highways in the wake of the Maoist bandh.

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