Shutdown begins in Chhattisgarh amid fears of more attacks

Raipur, May 18 (Calcutta Tube) Security forces stayed fearful in their base camps and life was hit in several parts of Chhattisgarh as a 48-hour strike called by Maoists began Tuesday, a day after at least 35 people were killed when the guerrillas blasted a bus in the state’s Dantewada district.

The shutdown called by the outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) began amid fears of fresh attacks and crippled life in Bastar region as well as parts of Rajnandgaon and the rural areas of Raipur and Dhamtari, a senior police official said.

‘Passenger buses are off the roads and people are staying indoors. In several Bastar localities, Maoists have blocked roads by putting heavy wooden logs on jungle roads,’ the official at the police headquarters here told IANS.

‘In Bastar, an absolute terror-like situation is prevailing. Forces are hardly moving due to fears of Maoist attacks… they are feeling terrorised at their base camps,’ said a senior government official based in Jagdalpur, the headquarters of Bastar region.

Maoist guerrillas killed at least 35 special police officers (SPOs) and civilians Monday in Dantewada district, some 450 km south of capital Raipur, when they detonated a powerful landmine blast targeting a passenger bus.

The forested 40,000 sq km Bastar region comprises the five districts of Bijapur, Narayanpur, Kanker, Bastar and Dantewada.

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