Two local leaders of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) were killed by suspected Maoists in the Lalgarh area of West Bengal on Monday. With this, the number of those killed in the region by suspected Maoists since Sunday evening has gone up to three.

One of Monday’s victims, Shambhu Mahato (40), was secretary of the CPI (M)’s Buripala branch committee.

District police superintendent Manoj Kumar Verma told The Hindu over telephone that Mr. Mahato was shot dead by three bike-borne assailants while he was sitting in his shop at Buripala.

Mr. Mahato had reportedly officially left the CPI(M) few days ago after having been threatened by the Maoists to do so.

The village is within a three-km radius of the Pirakata police outpost, which has witnessed several agitations by supporters of the Maoist-backed Police Santrash Birodhi Janasadharaner Committee in protest against the alleged atrocities unleashed by the security forces on villagers.

Kartik Mahato was shot dead by unidentified persons while he was taking lessons at the Jamda Primary School. He was a member of the CPI (M)’s Binpur local committee.

A shoe-shop owner Nurul Hasan was shot dead by suspected Maoists on Sunday evening at Andharia near Lalgarh.