Maoists blew up an anti-landmine vehicle in Jharkhand on Monday as a 48 hour strike called by them in five states to protest operations against them in West Bengal’s Lalgarh area began.
According to police, rebels blasted the anti-landmine vehicle near Boramora jungle of East Singbhum district as the strike came in force. They also opened fire at the security personnel who were trapped inside the vehicle. Forces have been sent to the area to rescue the personnel, an official said.
Besides, a live bomb was found on a railway track in Kharsawa district. The state was on alert as Maoists began their two-day shutdown on a violent note and as a result, four people, including Maoist leader Sanatan Baski, were arrested in Dumka.
“Sanatan Baski was arrested Sunday night after a firefight. Sanatan is a hard core member of the red squad of the Maoist group. Two people who were supplying arms were arrested and a fourth person was arrested as Maoist rebels used to stay in his house,” Arun Kumar Singh, Dumka superintendent of police (SP), said.
Keeping in the view of the strike, security has been beefed up in the state with long route buses being closed and national highways deserted.
The five states, where rebels have given strike call included West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar and Orissa against the operations in Lalgarh, which had been declared a virtual free zone by Maoists.
It may be mentioned that Maoist guerrillas are active in 18 of the 24 districts of Jharkhand. Nearly 1,500 people have been killed in Maoist-related violence in the last eight years.