Jharkhand violence rages, train blast kills two (Second Lead)

Ranchi, Nov 20 (Inditop.com) Maoist guerrillas Friday continued their violence spree in Jharkhand, after blowing up a passenger train overnight that left a woman and an infant dead, police said.

In separate incidents, the Maoists abducted around 20 people from a village, opened fire at a bus packed with people and detonated a bomb in a state-run iron mine.

Most incidents were reported from West Singhbhum district and occurred during a 24-hour strike called to protest an imminent government crackdown on the outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist).

The trouble started Thursday night at 9.30 when the Tatanagar-Bilaspur passenger train was blown up while passing through a forest in West Singhbhum.

Two passengers were killed and 25 injured in the attack that derailed six coaches.

The incident took place between Manoharpur and Posaita railway stations. According to police, the rebels believed the train was carrying hundreds of paramilitary troopers on the move ahead of assembly elections starting in the state from Nov 25.

Half a dozen trains have been diverted following the incident.

Deputy Inspector General of Police Manoj Mishra said: “There were two simultaneous blasts. In each Maoist rebels used 35 to 40 kg of explosives. It is mindless violence.”

On Friday, Maoists raided Darogasai village of West Singhbhum and seized about 20 people.

“A few days ago, police had recovered bombs from the village. The Maoists are talking to villagers and warning them against cooperating with the police,” Jharkhand police spokesperson V.H. Deshmukh told IANS.

According to West Singhbhum Superintendent of Police Akhilesh Kumar Jha, a minor blast took place at the Kirivuru mines of the Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL).

A 20 kg bomb was found in the same mines and defused.

The CPI-Maoist strike has also been called to demand that their leader Ashok Mahto be produced in court.

The guerrillas fired bullets at a bus on the Ranchi-Jamshedpur highway. No one was killed.

The strike crippled life in Jharkhand as no long route buses plied in rural areas. The national highways wore a deserted look.