Maoists killed a Special Police Officer (SPO) in Malkangiri district and blew up rail track in Sundergarh district in Orissa on Tuesday during the second day of their 48-hour bandh call.

Their act continued to affect road traffic in naxal-infested remote areas of the State. According to police sources, the Maoists targeted an SPO, Bhimsena Khila, at Maribeda village under Kalimela police station in Malkangiri district on Tuesday afternoon. Bhimasena was posted at the Kalimela police station. He had taken leave to take part in the village fair festivities at Maribeda.

At around 4.30 p.m., a group of armed Maoists reached the village and searched for him. They tracked him down and asked him to come with them. He was shot at close range and he died on the spot. Naxals also targeted an aged person of the village who happened to be uncle of another SPO. He was seriously injured. The body of the deceased and the injured person were shifted to the Malkangiri district hospital, police officials said.

The incident is being seen as retaliatory move of the Maoists against the proposed coordinated anti-Maoist operation to be taken up in undivided Koraput district, adjoining Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh. The Border Security Force (BSF) personnel have started arriving in Koraput for this operation. A day before their 48 hours bandh call against joint anti-Maoist operation which started on Monday, the Maoists had killed two persons in Koraput and Malkangiri districts, branding them to be police informers. The targeted killing of the SPO is also said to be aimed at creating terror in the minds of people having links with the police before the start of major anti-naxal operation in the area. In November 2009, Maoists had murdered an SPO Anand Mandangi in Rayagada district.

The Maoists blew up rail track in Sundergarh district in the wee hours of Tuesday. Maoists triggered two blasts targeting the railway track between Birsa and Bangomunda stations at around 1.30 am. Five wagons of a goods train which was passing through the area at that time got derailed. It affected the rail services in the Chakradharpur division on the Howrah-Mumbai route. As per railway officials, train services in the down line was disrupted and several trains in the Mumbai-Howrah route were suspended following the blast. There were no causalities in the incident. Restoration work was on to resume rail traffic on the route.

Two naxals nabbed

Police also had a breakthrough in Sundergarh district as two Maoists were nabbed. The arrested naxals were identified as Pintu Panda (60) and Sabir Hussain (28). They were nabbed during combing operation by security forces inside Karada jungle on Monday night. On Monday another Maoist, Binod Munda, was also arrested from Topadiha.