The bullet-riddled bodies of Naresh Thapa, Vivek Narang, Dhankumar Biswakarma and another EFR jawan were recovered and being taken to Jhargram for post-mortem.
Four Eastern Frontier Rifle (EFR) jawans were killed in a surprise assault by Maoists here in West Midnapore on Sunday, hours after Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee wrapped up a two-day visit to the violence-hit district even as a top Maoist leader claimed responsibility for the attack.
Claiming responsibility for the killings, top Maoist leader Koteshar Rao alias Kishanji on Sunday night dared the Central and State governments to deploy as much forces as they wanted in the embattled area.
“We have killed the four jawans as they tortured innocent school children who had taken out a rally in the area on Saturday demanding the educational institutions be vacated by joint security forces and their classes resume at the earliest, Kishenji told PTI from an undisclosed location on Sunday night.
“Seven EFR jawans were patrolling near a police camp close to a school in Gidhni bazar area under Jamboni police station when the ultras fired at them from sophisticated weapons.
IGP (Law and Order) Surajit Kar Purakayastha said while four died on the spot, three others managed to escape.
As the three jawans returned soon and retaliated the ultras melted into the jungles. The ultras also looted the arms of the four slain jawans.
To a question if the attack was a challenge posed by the Maoists to West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee who left the district just hours back, Kishenji retorted “but we have long before challenged the central and state governments, and as I have just said, the war is on.”
“We will win the war. Let Centre deploy as much forces they want,” he challenged.
Late on Sunday, the bullet-riddled bodies of Naresh Thapa, Vivek Narang, Dhankumar Biswakarma and another EFR jawan were recovered and being taken to Jhargram for post-mortem.
Reinforcements and senior police officers were camping at the site.
The attack came a day after the killing of three youths, again hours before the chief minister’s arrival in the district.
The bullet-riddled bodies Lakhi Das, Jayram Mandi and Manoranjan, all Jharkhand Party activits and stated to be members of CPI(M) backed-Maoist resistance group in the area, were found with their hands and legs tied on a road in Kusbani jungle, about 70 km from Midnapore town.
The ultras had also shot at and injured a former Marxist legislator.