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Govt bus services halted due to Maoist bandh call

Malkangiri/Koraput/Rayagada: Government bus services were halted in Malkangiri and Rayagada districts today due to a bandh call given by Maoists in five states including Odisha protesting against the killing of 30 naxals during a joint operation of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh police in the cut-off areas of Malkangiri on October 24.

The government-run buses plying on six routes of Rayagada district were taken off roads today due to the bandh call. Bus services from the district headquarters to Laxmipur, Chandrapur, Sandubadi, Bandhugaon and Kashipur were cancelled in wake of the bandh.

Paresh Kumar Thatoi, DTM, Rayagada, said, “All the government bus drivers have been asked to park their vehicles at the destination point and run usual services on November 4 morning after the DGM (operations) of OSRTC directed us not to ply the buses with so much risk in wake of the Maoist bandh call.”

The authorities also stopped bus services in bordering Lamtaput block of Koraput district. Buses plying from Anakadeli to Jeypore, Koraput and Visakhapatnam were also taken off the roads.

As buses have been taken off the roads in the bordering districts, passengers are having harrowing time and mostly detained at the bus stops.

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Meanwhile, Meanwhile, security has been tightened in bordering districts – Rayagada, Malkangiri, Kalahandi, Balangir and Nuapada in view of the bandh call. Combing operations have been launched at many places.

Also read: Malkangiri encounter: CPI (Maoist) calls for bandh in 5 states on Nov 3

K.Siva Subramani, Rayagada SP, said, “Search operations have been intensified in and around Niyamgiri and bordering areas of Rayagada district. Joint operations of the district police along with BSF, CRPF and SOG personnel are also launched in view of the Maoist bandh call. Besides, checking points have been set up at various places to frisk vehicles.”

Elaborating about the preparedness of the Malkangiri Police, SP Mitrabhanu Mohapatra said, “The forces are kept on alert and borders have been sealed.”

Notably, the Central Committee of CPI(Maoist) has called for a bandh today in Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Telengana and Maharashtra protesting against the joint operations of the Odisha and Andhra Pradesh Police in the cut-off areas of Malkangiri district on October 24.

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