MUMBAI: Maoists on Friday observed bandh in Gadchiroli district to mark protest of the encounters with the police last month wherein around 40 extremists were killed. Trees were fell last night to block roads and banners were put up at several places. However, the police said that the bandh had a very limited effect with only one road remained blocked due to felled trees.
“Felling trees and putting up banners is a regular tactic used by Maoists to gain media attention. So, those things have been done as usual. However, it has hardly any effect on the normal life of the people in the district,” Gadchiroli SP Abhinav Deshmukh told the New Indian Express.
“Most of the roads remained clear for traffic throughout the day. Trees were fell on a road near Bijur phata in the Tadgaon region of Bhamragad tehsil. The trees were fell in the night and remained so till most part of the day today as the region is not easily accessible. However, none of the other roads were blocked,” Deshmukh added.
While speaking about the banners being put up by the Maoists, Deshmukha termed it as a regular activity of the extremists to intimidate the people. He also said that no unusual hike in this kind of activity has been found as of now.
Several photographs of banners being put up in jungles and trees felled were going viral on the social media throughout the day in the urban areas of the state.
Maoists had given the bandh call in five states including Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Odisha to offer tribute to their comrades killed near villages of Boriya and Kasnasur in Gadchiroli in police encounter which they have alleged as “fake”. The bandh was to be observed in all the five states. However, as far as Maharashtra is concerned the bandh remained non-effective except photographs of banners being shared over the social media.
As a precursor to the bandh, the Maoists had burnt down a timber depot in Gadchiroli on Thursday and two trucks at Surjagarh last week. However, no one was hurt in either of these incidents.