In a major crackdown on the Maoists in the wake of the incident where the ultras had raided a police camp in West Bengal’s Bankura district late on Monday, security forces raided two Maoist hideouts in the State’s Paschim Medinipur district on Wednesday leading to the arrest of seven suspected extremists and seizure of a large cache of arms and ammunitions.
Meanwhile, one of the two Indian Reserve Battalion constables who was suspected to have been abducted by the Maoists during the attack on the police camp on Monday showed up at the Barikul police station near the camp on Wednesday on his own.
Vishal Garg, police superintendent of Bankura, told The Hindu on Wednesday that Ajay Pandey, the constable who returned, will be “questioned about the chain of events that led to his disappearance to his reappearing at the police station.”
The body of the other constable, who went missing with Mr. Pandey, was found inside a dense forest near the camp on Tuesday.
The police superintendent of the Paschim Medinipur district, Manoj Kumar Verma, told The Hindu over telephone: “We were receiving a lot of information about the movement of the Maoist group that had raided the camp in Bankura and were tracking them since Monday. Acting on specific inputs, we organised raids at two locations.”
Fierce exchange of fire took place between the forces and the Maoists in the dense forests at Talpukur in Belpahari and Madhupur in Salboni region during the day, before the ultras were forced to retreat.
Mr. Verma said that two suspected Maoists were arrested from Talpukur and five were arrested from Madhupur. Several firearms, ammunitions, improvised explosive devices and traditional weapons were recovered from both the sites.
He said that a body was also recovered from Talpukur though the police was yet to ascertain the identity of the person, adding that there was a possibility of it being of a Maoist who died during the encounter.
The body of a Trinamool Congress supporter was also found by the banks of the Kansavati river at Jhargram in the Paschim Medinipur district on Wednesday.
Several Maoists posters were also found around Rishi Dolui’s body, that claimed that he was executed for spying on the Maoists on behalf of the police.