Bhubaneswar: The Maoists are today observing a 24-hour bandh in five districts of Odisha protesting construction of barrages upstream of Mahanadi by Chhattisgarh government.
They have also demanded immediate arrest of the culprits in the gangrape of a Class-IX student at Sorishpadar in Koraput district.
The bandh has hit vehicular movement completely on Bhawanipatna-Rayagada route as the rebels blocked roads by placing logs at Muniguda in Rayagada district. They also put a poster at the spot appealing everyone to make the bandh successful.
Similar posters were found at Baliguda in Phulbani. In view of the bandh call, plying of government buses in the areas has been stopped.
On the other hand, the Maoists reportedly gunned down a person namely Mohan Majhi of Lahidi village bordering Kandhamal and Kalahandi districts.
The deceased has been identified as the father of Jahan Majhi, an auto-rickshaw driver who lost his life in firing during an anti-Maoist operation at Gumudumaha in Kandhamal district last year.
Notably, the Bansadhara-Ghumusar-Nagabali division of the CPI (Maoist) through an audio clip released to the press had appealed people to observe a 24-hour bandh on October 21 to protest against the construction of barrages by Chhattisgarh which aimed to sell water to industries at the cost of the farmers.
The Division’s secretary Umakant had urged the people, especially in Rayagada, Kandhamal, Kalahandi, Gajapati and Ganjam districts to make the bandh a success.
Rebel leader Umakant also compared BJD’s movement against the construction of barrages upstream of Mahanadi by Chhattisgarh to that of shedding crocodile tears.
The outlawed party has called upon peoples’ movements in western Odisha to join hands in the fight against Chhattisgarh government’s move to deprive farmers of their rights on Mahanadi water and sell it to capitalists.