RANCHI: CPI (Maoist) has given a call for two-day Bihar-Jharkhand bandh beginning on Monday to protest against the killing of Bihar Jharkhand North Chhatisgarh Special Area Committee member Sarita Ganjhu in an encounter with security forces on Jharkhand-Bihar border on May 17. The bandh will start from Sunday midnight and continue for 48 hours. A Maoist spokesperson Paramjitji, belonging to a CPI Maoist sub zonal committee, has issued posters in areas along the inter-state border announcing the bandh.
“Military action would be taken against those trying to defy the bandh. All shops should remain closed during the bandh,” a poster quoted Paramjitji. Ambulance and essential services have been kept out of the preview of the bandh. The Maoists have urged police to stop harassing innocent villagers in the name of Maoists and stop ongoing combing operations (against the extremists). CRPF IG Jharkhand sector Rakesh Kumar Mishra said the loss of Sarita Ganjhu was massive for the Maoists because she has worked as guide for several extremists. He said all units of the CRPF deployed along Bihar border and other parts of the state have been put on high alert.
“We will dominate the core areas of the Maoists and detect IEDs (improvised explosive devices) to ensure road safety,” Mishra said. A police officer said Sarita’s death has foiled Maoists plans to re-dominate CPI (Maoist) west sub zone covering Hazaribag, Chatra, Ramgarh and Koderma in Jharkhand. In the past few years Maoists have become weak in the zone. The vacuum led to the rise of Maoist rivals groups like Jharkhand Prastuti Committee and Tritiya Prastuti Committee (in the west sub zone). A group of three Maoist leaders with a 100-member central committee company was sent recently to to re-dominate the zone when Sarita was killed. ADG (operations) and state police spokesperson S N Pradhan said all districts have been put on high alert ahead of the bandh. “The district police are conducting preemptive operations to avoid any untoward incident during the bandh,” Pradhan said.