Two Maoists killed in Orissa

Two Maoists killed in Orissa

In Malkangiri, two Maoists were killed during an exchange of fire with the Special Operations Group, district superintendent of police Satyabrat Bhoi said.

The Naxals attempted to blow up an anti-landmine vehicle at Chakulia in East Singhbhum district but failed as only one of its tyres got deflated in the blast and no harm was caused to police personnel on patrolling duty, Inspector General of Police S N Pradhan told PTI in Ranchi.

In view of the bandh call, long distance buses were off the roads and and shop-owners downed their shutters in Gumla, Simdega, Garwah and Palamau districts for fear of Maoist attacks in Jharkhand, where 18 of the 24 districts are Naxal-hit.

The two-day bandh shutdown has been called by the Maoists in West Bengal, Bihar, Chhatisgarh, Jharkhand and Orissa protesting action by security forces which stormed Lalgarh and took control of the trouble-hit area.

Train services were badly affected in several parts of Jharkhand. A Jamshedpur report said Tata-Danapur Express, Tata-Purulia passenger train and Chakdradharpur passenger trains were diverted for security reasons. In Palamau, the police escorted trains passing through naxal-pockets.

In West Midnapore district where the security forces were on a mission to reclaim areas from Maoist-backed tribals, life was hit with shops and establishments closed in Lalgarh, Jhargram and Midnapore town. Transport was also off the roads.

In Purulia district, train services remained suspended on the Purulia-Chandil section since 0200 hrs in view of reports of a landmine being planted on the tracks at Birandi station.
On the eve of the bandh, Maoists warned the cabin man of Chandiposh railway station, 30 km from Rourkela, not to run trains on Rourkela-Bimalgarh route during the bandh period.

GRP sources in Rourkela said the Maoists also looted the mobile phone and searchlight of the cabinman, who was the lone person on duty.

Following it, all trains on the Rourkela-Bimlagarh section has been suspended since last night as a preacutionary measure.

A joint combing operation by GRP, police and RPF was launched in the jungles surrounding Chandiposh in Orissa and patrolling intensified in the Maoist-prone areas of Sundargarh district to avoid any untoward incident during the bandh, police said.

In Chhattisgarh, rail traffic was hit in the interior areas of Kanker and Bastar and a Vishakapatnam-bound train was terminated in Dantewada district.

Director General of Police Vishwaranjan said security to trains and vital installations has been beefed up.

In West Bengal, CRPF, BSF and state police personnel intensified their operations in Lalgarh area which was reclaimed by security forces on Saturday.

In adjoining Bankura, where the Maoists exert influence, police reinforcements have been rushed to Sarenga police station and other sensitive areas against possible attacks.

Bankura Superintendent of Police Vishal Garg said 200 security personnel, including BSF and CRPF jawans have started the operation to enter Lalgarh through Sarenga, 25 kms away.

Four Maoists were arrested last evening from Khayerbari in Sarenga by the security forces while planting a landmine. A detonator, a mobile phone and a rifle were seized from them.

Besides Lalgarh -- the epicentre of the current trouble -- security was tightened in Binpur, Jhargram and adjoining areas where state and paramilitary security forces continued their offensive for the fifth day, officials said. Patrolling by security forces has been intensified.

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