Two police personnel were killed in a Naxal attack in Chhattisgarh’s Kanker district on a day when a bandh called by the CPI (Maoist) partially-affected life in the State’s southern fringes. The incident took place when Border Security Force (BSF) and the district police force were on a joint combing operation in the jungles at the Tadoti Police Station area on Saturday.

“Early in the morning, when a group of about 100 security personnel were patrolling the area, a group of about 50 rebels started firing on the forces in the Shakti Ghat area,” Kanker SP R.N. Das told The Hindu. Sub-inspector Santosh Ekka and head constable Aliram Usendi were killed and two injured. Their bodies have been recovered and injured sub-inspectors Ravindra Mandavi and Somaru Usendi were shifted to Raipur for treatment.

The Madh division of the rebels’ Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee led the attack, Mr. Das said.

Deployment of six battalions of the BSF had largely restricted Maoists to the Paralkote Reserve Forest area on Maharashtra border. As the rebels are not as organised in Kanker as they are further south, the fact that they mobilised two of their platoons to counter-attack the joint ops of the 123rd Battalion area of the BSF has surprised senior officers.

On April 16, in an encounter between the Greyhounds and Maoists at Sukma district’s Puwarthy village, nine rebels were killed. Within 24 hours, Maoists killed one inspector of the elite anti-Naxal force in Kaorgutta village, close to the Andhra Pradesh border.

In a press release issued earlier this week, rebels warned the security forces that the “administration is forgetting how in April 2010, 76 security personnel were killed.”

Maoists have asked police and paramilitary forces to stop “Operation Green Hunt,” which they claim is displacing millions in Chhattisgarh.

Saturday’s bandh was called to mark the killing of Karimnagara-Khammam-Warangal (KKW) Divisional Committee members of the North Telangana Zonal Committee.

Bamboo depot torched

Meanwhile, in a separate incident in Kanker district, around 100 Naxals torched a bamboo depot of the forest department in the Bande police station area on Friday night. Security forces have been dispatched to Bande, Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP) C.D. Tondon told PTI. A security alert has been sounded and additional police forces deployed in parts of south Chhattisgarh.