Maoists surrounded and shot dead three policemen who went to a market in Gollapalli village of Dantewada district in Chhattisgarh on Wednesday evening.

The Maoists also fired some shots at the Gollapalli police station too before escaping into the jungles.

Police officials monitoring Left Wing Extremist activity from here said the policemen, a head constable and two constables, who were in plainclothes went to the market and were surrounded by armed rebels.

Gollapalli is very near to the borders of Andhra Pradesh and any rations to be sent to the personnel posted at Gollapalli and Kistaram stations would have to be routed through Andhra Pradesh, in view of the reduced rebel presence in Andhra Pradesh.

Incidentally, a 15-member Maoist group raided a house in Ringala village of Chintoor mandal of Khammam district in Andhra Pradesh and shot dead a tribal, Babu Rao, accusing him of being a spy in the early hours of Wednesday.

Khammam police suspect that the Maoist rebels sneaked into the state from Dantewada.

The victim, Babu Rao, had fled his village in Dantewada some five years ago and settled in Ringala village. He was arrested by Andhra Pradesh police some six months ago on charges of being a militant of the Maoist party.