India: bandh and other actions in several federal states

Maoist banner put on a blocked road of the Rayagada’s district. Source: Sambda English

We have previously reported on guerrilla actions in India during last week. During this week there were three known actions. The first of these was a sabotage of a mobile tower in the town of Goelkera, in the federal state of Jharkhand. Local media describes the action and the situation of the area: “The incident occurred on Tuesday evening, causing significant disruptions to the region’s telecommunication services and raising concerns about the security situation in the area. The tower belonged to Airtel installed beside a government school at Patunda village which falls in the Kolhan forest division where a big number of Naxals have been anchoring since January this year. According to sources, Patunda village is considered to be a naxal-infested village and a strategically important place.”

Mobile tower targeted by Maoists in Jharkhand. Source: News Desk

The next action occurred in the federal state of Odisha, where posters were found in several places, calling for a bandh [Author’s note: general strike in India] and encouraging the people to not trust in the police, not fear the police repression and to trust in the guerrilla. Linked with this action, the most featured action of the week was the bandh convened by Maoists in the states of Jharkhand and Odisha. According to local media, in the state of Jharkhand the police was put in alert and increased their vigilance: “Special vigil is being maintained in Lohardaga, Chatra, Latehar, Chaibasa, Khunti, Palamu and Garhwa. All the jawans [Author’s note: police agents] have been instructed by the SP [Author’s note: State Police, of the federal state of Jharkhand] of these districts to be vigilant and intensify patrolling in the most sensitive areas.”. Also, in Jharkhand the bandh affected mainly the rural areas, forced the shutdown of markets, and strongly reduced the amount of vehicles on the roads.

Regarding Odisha, the bandh would have bigger effects, specially in the districts of Rayagada, Ganjam, Kandhamal, Kalahandi, Boudh, Nayagarh and Gajapati, mainly in the area of Simanbadi, in Kandhamal district. In this last one, public transport has been stopped and the buses canceled. Posters and banners has been put in several places of the roads and rural areas, and cut down trees were used to create blockades of the roads. Besides this, according to local media of this state, Maoists denounced the bad situation of the people, who are being denied the access to education, healthcare and housing.

Due to this actions and many others that are continuously carried out, the Indian State is increasing their repressive efforts. For example, in state of Odisha, at least six drones are being prepared by police, specifically to monitor Maoist movement, according to the Director General of Police of Odisha.

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