Road and rail links in the interior districts of Chhattisgarh and neighbouring States were severely affected as a two-day bandh called by the Communist Party of India (Maoist) began on Wednesday.

The bandh was to condemn the killing of CPI (Maoist) Central Committee spokesman Azad in Andhra Pradesh's Adilabad district on July 2.

While shops and businesses remained open in urban centres across Chhattisgarh, bus services to the interior regions of Bastar, Dantewada, Bijapur and Narayanpur districts were called off.

Naxalites fired at three CRPF camps in Chhattisgarh simultaneously, prompting the security forces to retaliate. The firing, which started at 9.30 p.m. at the CRPF camps in Narayanpur, Dantewada and Bijapur districts, went on for an hour, senior CRPF officials said.

PTI reports said the pattern of disruption was the same in Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and Orissa, where business premises stayed open in urban centres but transport links to the Naxal-affected areas were severely curtailed.

78 trains cancelled

Rail services were the worst affected, with 78 trains cancelled and 340 others disrupted or re-scheduled. A majority of the affected trains operate in the eastern and central sectors through Jharkhand, Bengal, Bihar and Orissa.

According to PTI reports, trains running through the Maoist-affected areas were either cancelled or regulated.

In Andhra Pradesh, the Howrah-Hyderabad East Coast Express was cancelled.

Some trains passing through Maharashtra were also affected.

Police station attacked in Orissa

PTI reports from Bhubaneswar:

Heavily armed Maoists attacked a police station and a forest office and set them ablaze and abducted a policeman in Orissa's Keonjhar district on Wednesday night.

Around 80 Maoists stormed into Daitari town and targeted the police station and the nearby forest office, police sources said.

The seven policemen on duty at the station retaliated.