Maoist shutdown hits road links in Ranchi

      The two-day shutdown called by Maoists affected surface transport movement in Ranchi, Jharkhand, on Wednesday. Normal life has remained affected due to the fear of Maoists, which led vehicle-owners to avoid the usage of roads and national highways. Trucks and buses plying through dense forests in the state have halted at the outskirts of the Ranchi to avoid any incidence of violence. "They (Maoists) burnt vehicles, who wants to get theirs burnt? They also break the hands and legs of the driver, or maybe even kill him. So it is better that we halt till the shutdown," said Ramesh Yadav, a truck driver. Maoists have called for the shutdown in five eastern and central provinces - Jharkhand, Bihar, West Bengal , Orissa and Chhattisgarh - to protest the killing of their leader Sidhu Soren by the security forces from August 3 to August 4. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has called the Maoists India's gravest internal security threat. Last year was the worst ever for casualties at more than 1,000 deaths.

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