-Maoist group calls for shutdown strike in Odisha State, India, Dec. 28. Attacks and disruptions likely in rural areas of some districts.
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The Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist), an outlawed political party and insurgent organization, has called for a one-day bandh (shutdown strike) throughout Odisha State Dec. 28. The purpose of the action is to condemn recent killings of Maoist operatives in the state. Officials report the deaths occurred during clashes, while Maoists contend their members are regularly subjected to extrajudicial killings after capture by security forces. Impacts related to strike are most likely to occur in rural areas of the districts of Koraput, Rayagada, Malkangiri, and Sundargarh. An increase in Maoist activity is also possible in nearby areas of Chhattisgarh State, especially in the districts of Bastar and Bijapur. The CPI-Maoist group is not known to have significant operational capabilities in urban areas; hence, the strike will likely have few security implications for persons operating exclusively in major cities.
CPI-Maoist insurgents may attempt to attack security personnel, rural government offices, and infrastructure facilities during the strike. Police and paramilitary forces have deployed additional personnel to potential targets. Clashes between CPI-Maoist fighters and police are possible.
The strike will likely prompt transport and commercial disruptions in rural areas of Odisha where Maoists have a known presence. Armed attacks and sabotage targeting businesses and transport operators who do not comply with strike orders are possible. CPI-Maoist rebels have sabotaged long-distance bus operations and train services during previous actions, and similar attacks may occur Dec. 28. Authorities could suspend overnight bus and train operations in Maoist-affected areas as a precaution.