The banned Communist Party of India (Maoist) has called a 48-hour shutdown in West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar and Orissa beginning on Sunday to protest against the killing of its commander, Sashadhar Mahato.

Mahato was gunned down in an encounter in West Bengal.

Jharkhand Director-General of Police (DGP) G.S. Rath said the shutdown call could have been as a mark of protest against the killing of Sashadhar Mahato, a Maoist who was gunned down in an encounter in West Bengal.

In Jharkhand, transport and other essential services were hit.

“We apprehended there might be a shutdown call from the Maoists because of the killing of Sashadhar Mahato. The Maoists blame us for the killing of Sashadhar Mahato. We have received information that Mahato was killed in a police encounter, but the Maoists accuse us of murdering him,” said Jharkhand Director-General of Police G.S. Rath.

“If Maoists have called a shutdown because of this reason, then we are also prepared for it,” he added.

RELATED NEWS

Six Naxals shot dead in Bihar encounterMarch 14, 2011