Two more persons were killed by suspected Maoists in the Lalgarh region of West Bengal’s Paschim Medinipur district on Tuesday, amid incidents of torching of houses and a forest range office.

Sadhan Mahato, who quit the Communist Party of India (Marxist) six months ago after threats from Maoists, left home at Bankshol near Pirakata on Tuesday evening. His bullet-riddled body was found on the road connecting Midnapore and Lalgarh early on Wednesday, barely a km from the Pirakata outpost that houses the security forces.

Hablu Patra, a cable operator at Bamal, was also found shot dead near his home.

“The motive behind the killing of Mr. Mahato is under investigation, but since the Maoists are active in the area, their involvement is not ruled out. The motive for the second killing is not clear,” District Magistrate Narayan Swarup Nigam told The Hindu on phone.

Supporters of the Maoist-backed Police Santrash Birodhi Janasadharaner Committee ransacked and torched the houses of CPI(M) supporters Asit Mahato and Tapan Shikari at Goaltore, 20 km from Lalgarh, on Tuesday. Some other PSBJC supporters raided the forest range office at Parihati near Lalgarh on Wednesday and beat up range officer Pratap Acharya, who was admitted to hospital.

The PSBJC has called a 48-hour bandh since Wednesday in the three sub-divisions of Binpur, Salboni and Goaltore to condemn the alleged beating of its supporters by security personnel in front of the Ramgarh outpost on Tuesday, when they were staging a protest against the alleged high-handedness of the security forces.

The lawyers and advocates of the Jhargram court, who have been protesting against the continuous disruption of work for the past few months, submitted a representation to the Sub-Divisional Officer of Jhargarm seeking adequate measures to restore normality. “We are more concerned than the lawyers about the situation in the region. We have requested them to cooperate with us to restore normalcy rather than protesting,” Mr. Nigam said.

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