Partial response to Maoist shutdown in Orissa, two rebels killed

June 22nd, 2009 - 4:42 pm ICT by IANS  

Bhubaneswar, June 22 (IANS) A two-day shutdown called by the Maoists evoked partial response in Orissa till Monday afternoon even as two rebels were killed in a gun battle with security forces, police said.
“There are certain areas where they (Maoists) have presence. They blocked traffic in those areas. Some places saw very thin traffic,” Sudhanshu Sarangi, inspector general of police (operations), told IANS.

“The areas where the impact of the ‘bandh’ (shutdown) was felt were Malkangiri, Koraput and Sundergarh districts,” the official said.

“There was no movement of goods trains in parts of Sundergarh disrict as a preventive measure,” he said.

Deputy Inspector General of Police Sanjeeb Kumar Panda said that two Maoist guerrillas were spotted carrying a hand grenade in a bag during a security check Sunday evening on the outskirts of Malkangiri.

The rebels escaped into a nearby forest where they were shot dead. Panda said two 9 mm pistols were also seized from the rebels. Malkangiri is 620 km from state capital Bhubaneswar.

The Maoist rebels have called the shutdown in West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Orissa and Jharkhand demanding that the clampdown by joint forces of the centre and state government in Lalgarh be withdrawn.

The central security personnel and West Bengal police started the operation to flush out Maoist rebels from the Lalgarh area of West Midnapore after the ultras teamed up with a tribal body People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPA) to establish a “liberated” zone.

The rebels torched police camps and offices of the state’s ruling Communists, besides killing several of their party activists.

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