Chhatisgarh hikes security for Maoist shutdown

"The presence of security forces has been strengthened in areas vulnerable to Maoist attacks, key roads and rail tracks under East Coast Railways in the state's Bastar region are being patrolled," an official at the police headquarters here said.

The outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) has called a 24-hour shutdown from Sunday midnight till Monday midnight to protest Obama's four-day India visit. According to reports from Chhattisgarh's interiors, where Maoists have significant presence in nine of the state's 18 districts, the strike has so far been peaceful in forested belts. However, rebels have placed wooden logs on roads to block traffic at a few places in Bijapur, Dantewada, Rajnandgaon and Raipur districts.

Chhattisgarh is known as the nerve centre of Maoist militancy in India where Maoist violence has claimed over 2,100 casualties in the past one decade. The biggest ever attack was carried out by Maoists in April this year, in which 76 troopers were massacred.

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