Armed police killed two suspected Maoist insurgents in an exchange of fire in Bhadradri Kothagudem district (Telangana state) on Monday, September 7. The incident occurred in the Cherla area at around 15:00 (local time) as members of the District Police Special party, an armed unit, were patrolling the forest. The encounter comes after an improvised explosive device (IED) was triggered in the Cherla area on Sunday night, September 6, which was also attributed to Maoist rebels.
The incident also follows recent calls by the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) to hold a shutdown strike (Bandh) in the districts of Bhadradri Kothagudem and Mahabubabad in Telangana state, as well as in East Godavari in Andhra Pradesh on Sunday. The strike had been called for following the recent death of a CPI-Maoist member.
A heightened security presence is expected in Bhadradri Kothagudem district in the coming days and further security operations are likely in the coming days, which could result in further clashes with militants.
Maoist rebels are believed to be present in at least 20 Indian states, including Telangana; however, they are most active in Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, and Orissa. Members of the group, also known as Naxalites, have been active since 1967 and call for more resources to be devoted to poor, rural communities.
Those present in Telangana state are advised to exercise extra caution in rural areas due to the risk of rebel activity and to monitor the situation.
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