Rail and road services were disrupted in some parts of Orissa as a two-day Bharat Bandh called by the Maoists in protest against the death of a top Naxal leader began on Wednesday.
State-run bus service was suspended in Maoist-hit districts like Koraput, Malkangiri, Rayagada and Gajapati as a precautionary measure leaving passengers stranded at many places, police said.
A passenger train and some goods trains were suspended in Sundargarh district, while private buses also stopped plying in some areas fearing Naxal attack. Vehicular movement in several rebel-infested regions remained restricted as the bandh evoked a mixed response in the State.
The bandh had little impact in urban areas though shops and business establishments remained closed in rural pockets of Malkangiri, Gajapati, Koraput, Rayagada, Keonjhar and Sundargarh, they said, adding the ultras blocked a road by felling trees in Kalimela area of Malkangiri district.
No untoward incident has so far been reported from any part of the State where the situation remained peaceful, a senior police official said.
Security was tightened and patrolling intensified in Maoist affected areas, while a strict vigil was maintained in areas bordering Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal.
Special arrangements were made to ensure safety of train passengers and railway property as they have become a soft target of the ultras, the sources said.
A report from Rourkela said the situation in Maoist-hit Sundargarh and neighbourng Keonjhar districts remained peaceful with no untoward incident.
DIG (WR), Y. K. Jethwa, said the situation in three police districts of Sundargarh, Rourkela and Keonjhar remained peaceful.
Elaborate security arrangements have been made in these areas where patrolling was intensified by CRPF, SOG and local police.
Government Railway Police (GRP) sources said a few goods trains running from Rourkela to Bimlagarh to transport iron ore and other raw materials to Rourkela Steel Plant during day time and one passenger train running between Biramitrapur and Barsuna, were suspended today and tomorrow in view of the bandh call.
The trains on main Howrah-Mumbai line are running as usual, sources said, adding wherever necessary trains are running with pilot train.
Passenger bus services were affected particularly on NH-215 passing through Maoist prone areas in Sundargarh and Keonjhar district. Very few trucks were plying, police said.