Maoists call for 48-hour bandh in 5 states from May 18

Maoists call for 48-hour bandh in 5 states from May 18

The bandh call has been given in Bihar, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Orissa and Chhattisgarh. "Maoists will observe bandh on May 18 and May 19 in the five states to protest against the Centre's decision to sell 10 per cent government's stake in 10 profit-making Public Sector Undertakings," top Maoist leader Kishenji told reporters from an undisclosed location.

Breaking his silence after three months since reports of his injuries sustained during operations by security forces in Hatiloth forest near Lalgarh in March, he said he has been "well all along". "I have been well and now I am speaking with you as before," he told this correspondent.

Kishenji said the CPI (Maoist) was against handing over 15,000 acre land to steel maker POSCO in Orissa and favoured subsidy to the oil companies to keep the rate of petroleum products stable. The elusive Maoist leader made a slew of other demands including scrapping the IPL cricket tournament. He accused Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Union ministers P Chidambaram, Praful Patel and Sharad Pawar of being involved in the 'scam' surrounding the popular 20-20 cricket event.

"The government should immediately take action against these accused along with others who are behind the scam involving telecom spectrum allocation," Kishenji said. The politburo member of CPI(Maoist) said they were against dilution of government stake in state-owned banks "to favour entry of international banks like Morgan Stanley, Citibank and Deutsche Bank".

Kishenji's bandh call and demands come a day after Maoists killed four CPI-M supporters and one party worker in the Naxal stronghold of Jungle Mahal areas in West Bengal.

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