KORAPUT: Traffic was hit at several Maoist-hit pockets of Rayagada district on Thursday owing to a 24-hour bandh called by the Red rebels. The Kashipur-Niyamgiri area committee (KNAC) of the extremists had called the bandh demanding withdrawal of central forces from the area. Red rebels had put up posters and banners at several places in the district protesting against the recent hike in diesel price and the Centre’s decision to allow FDI in retail. Sources said public transport was totally paralyzed between Rayagadaand Kalyansinghpur as the Maoists had blocked a road near Krishnapatraguda by felling trees.
While government-run buses plying between Bhubaneswar and Koraput via Rayagada remained off road, buses did not ply to Chandrapur, which is considered a Maoists hotbed, and to Muniguda from Rayagada. Bus service to Narayanpatna in Koraput district from Rayagada was also suspended. Police said no violence had been reported and forces were kept on high alert to avert any eventuality.
“Extra forces have been deployed at strategic locations and a high alert has been declared,” said Rayagada SP Rajesh Pandit. Meanwhile, the KNAC sent letters to a few media persons in Rayagada on Wednesday asking at least 12 contractors and traders of the area to attend a praja court (people’s court) to be organized by the Maoists reportedly for their anti-people activities.