Maoists call for 48 hour shut down in 5 states from May 18


Prime VIP
Kolkata, May 15: Maoists on Saturday called for a 48-hour shutdown in five states from May 18 to protest against Union Government’s decision to disinvest in some Public Sector Undertakings (PSU).

The shutdown call has been given in Bihar, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Orissa and Chhattisgarh.

The Centre designed disinvestments of PSUs to provide more employment to people of the region and for economic development of the area.

The Maoists fear that the Centre’s decision would give a blow to their hold in remote areas. This prompted the Maoists to mobilize people against the Centre’s decision.

Reportedly Maoists leader Koteshwar Rao informed some of media that his organization would observe a shutdown on May 18 and May 19 in the five states to protest against the Centre's decision to sell 10 percent stake in ten different profit-making PSUs.

This is for the first time in last three months, that Rao has spoken to any one in the media.

In March, Koteshwar Rao was reportedly injured in an encounter with security forces in Hatiloth Forest area of Lalgarh region in West Bengal.

"I have been well and now I am speaking with you as before," Rao said.

He 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.

Koteshwar Rao also demanded to scrap the controversial IPL cricket tournament.

In his statement Rao accused Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Union Home Ministers P Chidambaram, Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation Praful Patel and Union Agricultural Minister 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," Rao said.

Maoists also said that they were against dilution of government stake in state-owned banks to favour entry of international banks like Morgan Stanley, Citi Bank and Deutsche Bank.