Raipur, May 20 (IANS) A two-day strike called by the banned Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) in the violence-hit Bastar region of Chhattisgarh hit normal life in the interiors on the first day Wednesday and brought transportation of iron ore to a halt, police said.
Maoists have put heavy wooden logs on National Highway 221 in Dantewada district and National Highway 16 in Bijapur district and various state highways, police added.
The railway authorities have cancelled for three days the goods train that transports iron ore from the National Mineral Development Corporation's (NMDC) Bailadilla mines in Dantewada district to Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh. The train runs on the Kottavalasa-Kirandul (KK) rail line.
'Security in all vulnerable areas, mostly the government facilities, and police posts in forests have been beefed up,' Pawan Deo, deputy inspector general at police headquarters here, told IANS.
'We are taking all precautionary measures to deal with the strike but it has affected life in Bastar and road and rail traffic are the worst-hit,' Deo added.
Maoists have been running a parallel administration since late 1980s in the interiors of the state's southern Bastar region. The 40,000 sq km region is spread over five districts - Dantewada, Bijapur, Kanker, Narayanpur and Bastar.
Over 1,500 people have been killed in the state in Maoist violence since Chhattisgarh was carved out of Madhya Pradesh in November 2000. Maoist rebels have stepped up violence in the state this month and have killed at least 35 people - mostly security personnel - in separate incidents.
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