Even as security forces are devising new strategies to combat the Maoist dominance in pockets of the Lalgarh region of West Bengal’s Paschim Medinipur district, the rebels seems to have stepped up their activities in the neighbouring districts of Bankura and Purulia, with several incidents of violence reported over the last three days.

Though there was Maoists presence in these districts and isolated incidents of violence had been reported over the last one year, the incidence of violence has gone up.

Heavy exchange of fire took place between the security forces and suspected Maoists at Bansdih village at Balarampur in Purulia district late on Thursday, local police sources said.

A group of armed rebels opened fire at the security forces as they went to the village for night patrolling. No arrests were made, they said.

The house of a Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader, Badan Paramanik, at adjacent Purudih village was ransacked and torched on Thursday. The police found several Maoist leaflets from the spot on Friday morning.

According to the leaflets, the Maoists demand immediate withdrawal of the forces from the region and have asked persons affiliated to the CPI(M) to forsake it and join the ‘people’s movement.’

Special raids were launched by the forces late on Thursday following the killing of veteran CPI(M) leader, Krishna Kundu, at Asna in Bankura district.

On Friday, Bankura Superintendent of Police Vishal Garg told The Hindu on telephone that four suspected Maoists — Sadhan Ahir, Manu Murmu, Milan Dutta and Sadhan Garai — were arrested during the raids.

Admitting that the district has seen a sudden upsurge of Maoist activities in the past few days, he said: “The raids and combing operations by the security forces will continue for now.”

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