Two people were killed by suspected Maoist rebels in a tribal-dominated West Bengal district even as the security forces are gearing up to combat the two-day shutdown called by the Left extremists from Monday in the state.

The Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) called for a two-day shutdown in five eastern Indian states - West Bengal, Bihar, Orissa, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh - to demand release of two of its cadres allegedly arrested by Bihar police Aug 19.

"We're making adequate arrangements to combat any untoward incident and violent attacks carried out by the Maoists," the West Midnapore Police Superintendent M.K. Verma said on Sunday.

He said: "It's been noticed that the rebels are carrying out violent attacks during shutdown hours. So we'll remain alert during those two days."

Maoists shot dead two people - Karan Murmu and Lal Murmu - in West Midnapore district on Saturday night, claiming that they were working against the rebels. The killings took place in the Belpahari forest region.

Both victims were supporters of a local political outfit, Jharkhand Party (Aditya), and were involved in the anti-Maoist committee.

According to sources, the top-rung Maoist leadership called two-day shutdown in the five states to demand release of two of its cadres - Anil and Kartick - who were arrested by Bihar police somewhere near Patna Aug 19 while they were travelling in a train.

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