An exchange of fire between Maoists and security forces took place in the Jangalmahal area in West Bengal's Paschim Medinipur district on Sunday.

There were reports that the forces had gone there to rescue a secondary school principal, abducted on Friday from the neighbouring Bankura district.

Five suspected Maoists were injured in the firing. They were taken away by their colleagues, a senior police official said here.

“There was an exchange of fire between Maoists and the security forces in the Goaltore thana area. Thirty-seven people were detained for questioning in the search operations conducted after the firing,” district Superintendent of Police Manoj Verma told The Hindu over telephone.

The incident took place at Kadambadhi village near Bhalukbasha forests.

There were reports that the police had raided the area as it was suspected that supporters of the Sidhu-Kanu Gana Militia, the militant wing of the Police Santrash Birodhi Janashadharaner Committee, were holding Principal Ranjit Duley there.

Incidentally, Mr. Duley's younger brother Ramchandra Duley, was killed by Maoists over a year ago for being a Communist Party of India (Marxist) supporter.