Maoists on Tuesday gunned down three policemen during a football match in Orissa’s Mayurbhanj district as 15,000 people looked on.
Among those killed were a sub-inspector, the bodyguard of a former MP and a village guard.
The incident occurred at 6.30 pm in Mayurbhanj’s Pandab village, 310 km north of Bhubaneswar, when former Jharkhand Mukti Morcha MP Sudam Marandi was about to hand over the trophy after the match of a football tournament.
The Maoists began firing at Marandi and the policemen present on the stage.
Marandi saved himself by ducking and jumping behind the stage. But the policemen died on the spot. Among those killed were ASI Narayan Pradhan (34) and Marandi’s bodyguard Gomha Hembrum (28). The identity of the village guard could not be ascertained.
In neighbouring Bihar, armed Maoists torched a railway station room on Tuesday, the second day of the Bihar and Jharkhand shutdown.
Around midnight Monday, about 200 insurgents attacked the Banshipur station in Bihar’s Lakhisarai district, 150 km southeast of Patna. Witnesses said rebels took six officials hostage.
“They released us after warning us with dire consequences if we didn’t stop movement of trains,” said a rail official.
The threat has triggered panic. “This is a forest area. We want the government to protect us,” said an official.
(Inputs from Ramashankar in Patna and Avijit Biswas in Bhagalpur)