A 12-hour bandh called by Maoists on Friday halted trains for several hours in Bihar, leaving thousands of passengers stranded. The Maoists called the protest in Bihar, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh to condemn police action against them. On Friday night, a group of armed Maoists broke into the cabin of the Bhaluhi halt in the Naxal-affected Jamui district and asked cabin man Dinesh Arya to stop trains in the Danapaur-Howrah section, said Arvind Rajak, chief public relations officer of East Central Railway. Two dozen trains on the route were stopped for eight hours, he said. Among the long distance trains that were stranded were Howrah-Amritsar mail, Howrah-Danapur express and Farakka express, while Vibhuti Express and Howrah-New Delhi Poorva express had to be re-routed from Asansol to reach Mugalsarai via Gaya, said the ECR official.
“We had a harrowing time. We were stranded for over eight hours at one place amid the lurking fear of naxal-attack on the train”, said Pankaj Kumar, a passenger of the train halted in Jamui. Traffic was restored on Saturday morning after CRPF personnel inspected the track and a goods train was run to make sure that the track was safe,” Mr. Rajak said. On Saturday morning, the Maoists blew up a mobile tower at Mananpur in Lakhisarai district. They also attacked Rani Bazar in Nawada district and beat up several villagers.