Staff Reporter

In protest against security operations launched against them

The bandh has been called in West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Orissa

The statement declaring the bandh was issued by Maoist Polit Bureau member Kishenji

Kolkata: The Maoists on Saturday called for a 48-hour bandh in five States from May 18 in protest against the security operations launched against them as well as a host of policies taken by the Centre and issues like the Indian Premier League and the scam involving the auction of 2G spectrum.

The bandh has been called in West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Orissa.

Significantly, the statement declaring the bandh was issued by Maoist Polit Bureau member Kishenji. He had been lying low for the past one-and-a-half months triggering suspicions that he had sustained serious bullet injuries during an encounter with security personnel in Lakhanpur forest in West Bengal's Paschimi Medinipur district on March 25.

Kishenji, through his aides, stated that the Communist Party of India (Maoist) was against the Centre's decision to sell 10 per cent of the government's stake in profit-making public sector units as well as handing over 15,000 acres of land to steel-major POSCO at Bokaro in Jharkhand and had therefore called the bandh in protest.

He said the CPI (Maoist) is also against the privatisation policies of the Centre and its plans to dilute the government stake in State-owned banks in favour of entry of international banks like Morgan Stanley, Citibank and Deutsche Bank.

Kishenji also demanded that the oil companies be subsidised by the Centre to bring down the price of petroleum products.

The statements regarding the IPL controversy and the 2G spectrum scam were, however, made for the first time by any Maoist leader.

He also demanded that that the Centre should take action against those responsible for the scam in allocation of telecom spectrum.

Meanwhile, the indefinite blockade observed by the Maoist-backed Police Santrash Birodhi Janasadharaner Committee (PSBJC) entered its third day on Saturday.

Normal life remained disrupted in several pockets of the Maoist-dominated forest fringe areas.