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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 June 2007, 04:33 GMT 05:33 UK
Maoists set fire to India station
Indian police at the site where a goods train was blown up by a land-mine by Maoists rebels in Jharkhand state on 26 June 2007
The rebels partially destroyed a goods train on Tuesday
Maoist rebels in eastern India have burnt down a railway station in a second day of protests against the government's economic policies.

The station set on fire by rebels was at Baramdi in West Bengal, police said. The Maoists blew up tracks and partially destroyed a goods train in neighbouring Jharkhand on Tuesday. They abducted the driver and the guard.

More than 6,000 people have died during the rebels' 20-year fight for a communist state in parts of India.

Rail property has been the main target of the attacks by the armed Maoists during the two-day economic blockade in their strongholds in eastern and central India.

After blowing up rail tracks in the neighbouring states of Bihar and Jharkhand on Tuesday, the Maoists struck in West Bengal just before dawn.

The police said more than 50 armed rebels chased away railway employees and then set fire to the Baramdi railway station in the remote district of Purulia.

They also mined the rail tracks, leading to panic in the area.

Show of strength

Local people informed the police about the incident and scores of long distance trains between Calcutta and northern India were cancelled.

On Tuesday, the Maoists damaged a goods train at Latehar in the neighbouring state of Jharkhand and kidnapped its driver and guard. They also set fire to six vehicles in the state's Dumka area.


Correspondents say life in Jharkhand and large parts of Bihar were completely paralysed by the economic blockade.

Intelligence officials say the Maoists are trying to display their strength by disrupting production in these mineral-rich states of India that produce much of the country's iron ore, mica, manganese, bauxite and even uranium.

The rebels have called a 48-hour-long "economic blockade" in three states to protest against the federal government's decision to allow special economic zones aimed at boosting exports and employment.

They say these enclaves will displace thousands of villagers.

The rebels have a presence in 18 of the 22 districts in Jharkhand.

Maoists operate in 182 districts in India, mainly in the states of Jharkhand, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and West Bengal.

The rebels say they are fighting for the rights of poor peasants and landless workers.

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