Special Correspondent

KOLKATA: Bodies of two persons, stated to be Maoist extremists, who were killed in an exchange of fire between militants and the police that carried on till late last night, were found in the Bangbuta forest in West Midnapore district early on Wednesday. Four militants, including two women belonging to the Communist Party of India (Maoist), have been arrested.

According to Inspector-General of Police (Law and Order) Raj Kanojia, the police, on a tip-off, went to the area on Tuesday evening and arrested two extremists. They were holding a meeting in a nearby forest and the arrest triggered exchange of fire between other members of the outfit and the police, resulting in the death of the two men.

Combing continuing

Combing operations are continuing, Mr. Kanojia said. It is suspected that some of the extremists might have escaped into Jharkhand, where the Maoists are believed to have set up camps.

Only last week, while addressing the Assembly, Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi, had warned that Maoist groups ``are trying to reorganise, both at underground and open levels.''

``They have accumulated a sizable amount of arms and ammunition and are now trying to create a Compact Revolutionary Zone, to be used as a corridor from Andhra Pradesh,'' he said.