Hours before the beginning of a 24-hour Jharkhand bandh called by banned CPI (Maoists) on Sunday, a gun battle took place between members of another red-rebel outfit and security forces in West Singhbhum district, police said.
Acting on a tip-off, a joint team of CRPF and the state police launched a search operation on Saturday night in a forest near Jikilata, Konsia and Huwangdih villages under the Bandgaon Police Station limits, West Singhbhum SP Ashutosh Shekhar said.
During the operation, members of the proscribed People's Liberation Front of India opened fire at approaching security personnel and the law enforcers retaliated, he said.
The encounter continued for around 15 minutes before the Maoists fled the spot, the SP said, adding that arms and ammunition were seized from there.
Meanwhile, normal life was partially affected in parts of rural Jharkhand due to the 24-hour bandh called by the outlawed CPI (Maoists) in protest against the arrest of its popular leader Krishna Hansda.
Long-distance bus services were disrupted and markets remained closed in some pockets, an official said.
Security arrangement has been beefed up across the state in view of the bandh, police added.