Two-day naxal blockade began on Tuesday midnight

Ranchi: Security has been beefed up in Jharkhand in view of the two-day Maoist-sponsored blockade which began midnight on Tuesday night while the East Central railway diverted the routes of some important trains in the State.

Special attention has been given on railway tracks because the tracks are the main target of the naxalites while securitymen have also been adequately deployed on the National Highways stretching through naxal-affected areas, police sources said on Wednesday.

The routes of some important trains running on the Barkakana-Garwah-Sonenagar section have been diverted while the Howrah-Jabalpur Shaktipunj express leaving Howrah on Wednesday was diverted via Pradhankhunta-Gomoh-Gaya- Mughalsarai-Chunar-Chopan.

The 3026-dn Bhopal-Howrah express would be controlled between Chopan and Renukut upto six hours, according to a railway release.

The blockade has been called by the Maoists-- across six States-- Jharkhand, Bihar, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Orissa and Uttar Pradesh -- in protest against what they alleged police atrocity in Dantewada district in Chhatisgarh.

Director General of Police V.D. Ram and Home Secretary J.B. Tubid on Tuesday made an aerial survey of the naxal-infested areas in Jharkhand to take stock of the security arrangements, the police sources said.

Trains running through Latehar, where in March the naxalites had seized a local train, have also been diverted, according to railway sources.

A partial impact of the blockade was seen in Garwah, Latehar, Palamu with many truck-owners suspending transport for fear of coming under naxal attack, according to sources. However, the blockade has no impact in cities, towns and wide parts of the State with reports of smooth road-traffic, the police said.

Though 16 of the 22 districts in Jharkhand are naxal-affected, the ultras mainly confine to limited areas close to the forests, getting advantage of the State's topography. -- PTI