Traffic was hit in several parts of Orissa on Tuesday as a two-day strike by Maoist guerrillas protesting the government offensive against them came into effect.

Roads were deserted in the three southern districts of Gajapati, Malkangiri and Rayagada as authorities kept government buses off the road for safety, a senior State police official told IANS. Private operators also cancelled bus services in the interior areas of the districts.

However, other places in the State were unaffected.

Shops, business establishments, government and private offices were functioning as usual across the State, the official said, adding that no untoward incidents had been reported from any part of the State.

Maoists are active in more than half the State’s 30 districts; the three southern districts are considered as their stronghold.

The outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist has called the strike in five States, including Orissa. On Monday evening, 35 people were killed when Maoists blasted a bus in Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada area.