PHULBANI/RAYAGADA : THE Kandhamal bandh called by Maoists on Monday protesting the death of five tribals allegedly in police firing near Gumudumaha village affected normal life in interior pockets of the district, but had little impact in Phulbani town.
In three blocks of Tumudibandha, Kotagarh and Daringbadi, shops, educational institutions and major business establishments remained closed in response to the two-day bandh which began on Monday. All Government and private buses plying from Baliguda to Rayagada and Koraput went off the road leaving passengers stranded at different places.
On Friday, the Maoists had pasted handwritten posters on the walls of a lodge in Tumudibandh and a rest shed near Haripur in Kotgarh calling for Kandhamal and Rayagada bandh on July 25. In the posters, the Red ultras demanded `25 lakh for each family of the deceased persons and `10 lakh to those injured in the police firing. Expressing their condolence to the families of five families, the Maoists demanded that murder cases should be filed against the security personnel involved in the killings. They also warned the Congress, BJP and the BJD to refrain from politicising the incident. The posters were signed by Ramakant, secretary of Bansadhara-Ghumusar-Nagavalli.
Security was beefed up across the district in the wake of bandh call. All vehicles were being searched at the entry and exit points of the district, said SP Pinak Mishra. No untoward incident has been reported from any part of the district.
Due to the bandh call, the visit of Assembly Committee on Welfare of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe led by its chairman Padmanav Behera to Gumudumaha on Monday was postponed.
At Rayagada district, the bandh affected life in Kalyansinghpur block the most. Fresh Maoist posters and banners surfaced in Kurli village of Bissamcuttack block on Monday.
Government buses remained off the roads in Rayagada. Although vehicular traffic from Muniguda to Chandrapur was disrupted, shops remained open. Combing operation in the district has been intensified.