Suspected Maoists killed five supporters of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) in two incidents in the Paschim Medinipur and Purulia districts of West Bengal on Thursday.

A group of armed miscreants abducted CPI (M) supporters Ashok Ahir, Sanatan Ahir, Swapan Ahir and Nazrul Mir from Chandabilla village in the Binpur block near Lalgarh of the Paschim Medinipur. Their bullet-ridden bodies were found on the State Highway 9 at Etela, located between Silda and Belpahari, on Friday.

According to Praveen Kumar Tripathi, Police Superintendent of the Jhargram police district, the killings were suspected to be the handiwork of the Maoists since rebel posters found from the spot claimed that the four persons were killed for spying on behalf of the police. The posters also demanded the immediate production in court of all persons arrested by the police for their supposed Maoist link, failing which the Left-wing extremists threatened to intensify their attack.

Mr. Tripathi said that an investigation into the case was initiated and a manhunt launched to nab the culprits.

In another incident, suspected rebels killed a CPI (M) supporter at Pathardihi village near Arsha in Purulia district on Thursday. The victim, Srikanta Mahato, was dragged out from his home and shot dead a little distance away.

Life was disrupted in the forest fringe areas of the three left-wing extremism-affected districts in the State on Friday following a bandh called by Maoists and the indefinite blockade programme observed by the Maoist-backed Police Santrash Birodhi Janasadharaner Committee (PSBJC).

Two suspected Maoists were arrested from the Simlapal region of Bankura district on Friday. They were allegedly involved in the operation of the rebels raiding a police outpost in the district two months ago.

In certain pockets of the Jangalmahal (common name for forested south-western parts of the State) life was hit by the PSBJC's indefinite blockade programme that entered its second day, and the Maoist bandh.

All educational and business establishments remained closed while vehicles stayed off the road.