Kolkata/Ranchi/Raipur: Maoists killed three people, including a policeman, attacked railway property and torched a police building on Thursday, the second day of their two-day shutdown in five states called to protest the killing of a top leader.
Four Maoists were also shot dead by securitymen.
The shutdown was called to protest the killing of Maoist leader Cherukuri Rajkumar alias Azad in Andhra Pradesh July 2.
In Chhattisgarh, Maoists attacked Congress leader Avdhesh Singh Gautam`s house early Thursday and killed a relative and an employee of the politician. The rebels also attacked a police station in Dantewada district.
Gautam`s brother-in-law Sanjay Singh and one of his employees were shot dead. Gautam`s wife sustained minor injuries while his son and another family member were critically hurt. They were rushed to Maharani Hospital, Jagdalpur, headquarters of the restive Bastar district.
"At least three guerrillas were killed when security guards at Gautam`s house retaliated. Another rebel was shot dead by forces at Kuakonda police station in retaliatory firing," Vishwa Ranjan, director general of police (DGP), Chhattisgarh, told IANS over the phone.
Gautam, a contractor, escaped unhurt. He is associated with state`s Congress veteran leader Mahendra Karma who has been credited with launching a controversial armed civil militia movement against Maoists in Bastar and Dantewada in June 2005.
Chhattisgarh felt the impact of the shutdown for the second consecutive day with normal life and iron ore transportation severely hit in the interiors of the state`s violence-hit 40,000 sq km Bastar region.
Transporters kept their vehicles off the road fearing attacks by Maoists, who opened fire at several security installations across Bastar region, including at a police station at Rowghat in Kanker district.
In Jharkhand, Maoists blew up a railway station building and rail tracks at another place, leaving more than a dozen trains stranded at different places.
Around 100-120 Maoists attacked the Hehegara railway station, 130 km from capital Ranchi in Latehar district, and used dynamites to blast it. They abducted two railway employees, but released them later.
The security personnel engaged the rebels in a gunfight in which one policeman was killed.
As a precaution, railway authorities cancelled several trains that pass through the section.
In the second incident, Maoists targeted rail tracks near the Nichitpur halt in Dhanbad district, 190 km from Ranchi.
The rebels also torched a water pump station in the jungle of Kiruiburu of West Singhbhum district.
In West Bengal, the houses of seven Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) members and supporters were set ablaze by the left wing extremists in West Midnapore district.
A group of heavily armed Maoists raided the house of a former village council chief at Salboni area and set it on fire, said Deputy Superintendent of Police (Operations) Aneesh Sarkar.
Later, the rebels torched the houses of a local committee member of the CPI-M and of five party supporters.
However, there were no casualties as the CPI-M leaders and supporters had left their houses apprehending trouble during the shutdown.
The shutdown crippled life in Jhargram police district, with buses and other vehicles keeping off the roads, and shops, markets and government offices closed.
Maoists set furniture and other stuff inside a police building on fire in Orissa`s Keonjhar district and abducted a police officer. About 30-40 armed rebels, including several women cadres, attacked the police building late Wednesday in Daitari, about 150 km from capital Bhubaneswar.
The rebels ransacked the building and damaged the furniture before setting it on fire.
The rebels abducted the assistant sub inspector.
Maoists also set afire a forest beat house located in front of the building, Marik said.
Life in parts of rural Bihar was badly hit because of the strike. Police sources told IANS that fear of Maoist violence forced closure of shops, markets and banks in rural areas of East Champaran, Gaya, Aurangabad, Arwal and Jehanabad districts. Long-route buses stayed off the roads.
In view of the strike, five trains were cancelled and some diverted.