The Lalgarh region of West Bengal’s Paschim Medinipur district continued to witness violence allegedly perpetrated by Maoists with the police recovering the bullet-riddled bodies of two Communist Party of India (Marxist) supporters near Goaltore, 25 km from Lalgarh.

The victims, Nimai Bishui (60) and Samir Singha Mahapatra (50), were members of the CPI(M) and have been instrumental in mobilising and re-organising the local CPI(M) support base, which had been demoralised due to recurring violence perpetrated by the Maoists in the region and the eventual killing of more than 40 CPI(M) workers in the past three months.

Police sources said that both the men were abducted by a group of armed men, suspected to be Maoists, late on Wednesday when they were attending a party meeting at the Harimara village.

Their bodies, bearing marks of multiple bullet injuries, were found inside a forest adjacent to the village on Thursday.

Meanwhile, identity of the three CPI(M) cadres injured in the exchange of fire between the Maoists and the CPI(M) cadres at Inayatpur late on Monday remained unknown with the district CPI(M) as well as the police remaining tight-lipped over the matter.

Denies reports

While the administration and the police have denied reports of any casualty in the gun-battle, questions raised from several quarters about the stockpiling of arms and ammunitions at the Inayatpur CPI(M) local committee office, which enabled the cadres to put up a fight with the Maoists for almost three hours before the police arrived, remained unanswered.

According to the police, the fire exchange started at around 6.30 p.m. and police was able to reach the spot at 9 p.m

The Inayatpur incident was a first of its kind in the region where the Maoists had to retreat after facing a heavy retaliation from the CPI(M) cadres.

Another factor that became clear with the Inayatpur incident is that the Maoists are utilising the local media to serve their purpose of spreading the initial panic and misinformation.

Words of several CPI(M) cadres being feared killed in the exchange of fire spread rapidly in several national media only after Maoist leader Kishanji claimed before the local media that more than 10 CPI(M) cadres have been slain.