Activists of the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist), blew up a railway track near Rajla station in Bihar’s Jamui district in the early hours of Sunday in the wake of their 72-hour bandh call, protesting against “Operation Green Hunt” — the Centre’s proposed offensive to root out the naxalites.

Services affected

Additional Director-General of Police (Headquarters) U.S. Dutt told TheHindu that “about 40 Maoists blew up the up and down tracks between the Rajla and Narganjo railway halts near Kahba bridge, thus affecting train services on the busy Patna-Howrah line.”

The site falls under the Jhaja-Jasidih section of the East Central Railway (ECR).

Railway CPRO Dilip Kumar said a stretch of 2.5 feet up and 5 feet down were damaged.

Trains detained

Eighteen long-distance trains had to be detained at different stations following the incident.

According to the latest police and railway reports, the damaged tracks have been repaired.

A high alert has been sounded in view of the bandh, which began on midnight on Saturday in the States of Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa, West Bengal and Chhattisgarh.

The bandh call comes ahead of Tuesday’s meeting of the Chief Ministers of Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa and West Bengal, to be chaired by Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram in Kolkata.

Additional posts created

Stepping up its anti-Naxal operations, the Bihar government on Saturday announced the creation of eight posts of Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP) in eight of the most naxal-afflicted districts in the State.

ADG (Headquarters) U.S. Dutt informed that the officers would be posted in the eight districts of Gaya, Rohtas, Aurangabad, Jamui, Nawada, Munger, East Champaran and Sitamarhi.

Partially affected

Marcus Dam reports from Kolkata:

Life in parts of the three districts of Paschim Medinipur, Bankura and Purulia in West Bengal was partially affected following the bandh. Shops were closed and traffic movement was less than normal.