An indefinite shutdown called by Maoists to protest police excesses began in the three tribal -- dominated West Bengal districts of Bankura, Purulia and West Midnapore on Tuesday.

The shutdown is supported by the People’s Committee against Police Atrocity (PCAPA) that is also demanding the withdrawal of troops from troubled Lalgarh.

“We are also supporting the shutdown call and we demand the immediate withdrawal of joint forces from Lalgarh as they are torturing villagers in the name of flushing out Maoists,” PCAPA leader Chhattradhar Mahato said.

“No untoward incident has been reported so far in the three shutdown—hit districts,” West Bengal Inspector General (Law and Order) of Police Surajit Kar Purakayastha said.

The state government had launched a massive security operation June 18 to flush out Leftwing rebels who had virtually made areas in and around Lalgarh in the neighbouring West Midnapore district a “free zone” since November last year.

However, despite the nearly two-month-long security operation, Maoist activities have been going on unabated, with several members of the ruling Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI(M)) cadres and tribals being killed as they were considered police informers.