In a fresh bout of violence in the Lalgarh region, one person was shot dead by suspected Maoists and it was followed by an exchange of fire between extremists and security forces in West Bengal’s Paschim Medinipur district on Monday.

“The bullet-ridden body of bus conductor Sanatan Pratihar was found by the security forces at Pingboni village in the morning,” Superintendent of Police Manoj Verma told The Hindu over the telephone.

This was followed by a search operation in the forest area during, which some persons opened fire at the security forces. “There were no casualties in the subsequent exchange of fire, but we were able to arrest three persons along with their rifles,” Mr. Verma said.

Late on Sunday night, a group of about 12 armed men abducted Pratihar from his home. He was taken to the forest area and shot dead. Maoist posters declaring him to be a police informer were found at the spot.

Director-General of Police Bhupinder Singh had said that more than 70 persons were killed in the region since the Lalgarh agitation began.

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