Jharkhand braces for three more days of strike

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

RANCHI - After Monday’s shutdown against the hike in fuel prices, people in Jharkhand are again bracing for three more days of strike this week.

The Maoists have called two days of strike Wednesday and Thursday in protest against the killing of their leader Cherukuri Rajkumar alias Azad in Andhra Pradesh. Maoists say Azad was killed in a fake counter.

The state will also witness Friday another strike, which has been called by the Mahaveer Mandal in protest against the theft of the idol of goddess “Chhinmastika” from the Rajrappa temple in Ramgarh district.

Strikes called by Maoists not only affect road and rail services but also mining, the mainstay of the state’s economy. According to an estimate, the state suffers losses of Rs.140-160 crore in a day of strike called by the Maoists.

“Due to the strikes called by Maoists we have to cancel trains and divert routes of many trains. On many occasions tracks are blown up, affecting the services. This year alone, the railways have suffered losses of more than Rs.220 crore,” a railway authority told IANS.

The series of strikes has led people to wonder whether such strikes solve the problems of the state in which 54 percent live below the poverty line.

“Political parties should understand the feelings of people over regular shutdowns and desist from such moves. No one understands why the Maoists are calling shutdowns so frequently? Maoists claim to fight for the common people, but the fact is that it is the common people who are the worst affected,” said Peter Sen, a resident of Ranchi.

Jharkhand witnessed two days strike June 30 and July 1 called by the Maoists.

The Akhil Bhartiya Vidhyarathi Parisad (ABVP) had called a shutdown July 2 to protest the baton charge on its members near the Governor House on June 29.

Said Anchal Kinger, former president of the Federation of Jharkhand Chamber of Commerce (FJCC): “The ultimate loosers are the people of the state. The development works get affected. The labourers find difficulty in earning their livelihoods and students stay at home.”

Filed under: Economy

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