PURULIA (West Bengal): Rabindranath Kar, CPI(M) leader and former zilla president, and his wife were killed when Maoists attacked and set their residence on fire at Bhomragrah in Purulia district on the Bengal-Jharkhand border on Saturday.

According to the District Magistrate Mukul Kanti Sarkar, more than 40 Maoists forced their way into Mr. Kar's house in the village in Bandwan police station area and opened fire injuring him. The CPI(M) leader made a bid to look for his guard who was sleeping in an adjacent house following which the ultras set fire to the house, leading to both of them being charred to death, Mr. Sarkar said.

The Maoists escaped into dense jungles stretching inside Jharkhand after carrying out the operation.

A police force, led by Additional Superintendent of Police, is camping in the village.

A red alert was sounded in the southern part of West Bengal, a report from Bankura said. A large number of policemen were deployed in the forest areas of Bankura district, police said. - PTI

Condemns killing

New Delhi Special Correspondent writes: The CPI (M) condemned the killing of Mr. Rabi Kar and his wife.

In a statement, the party's Polit Bureau said naxalite squads were targeting CPI (M) cadres in certain areas of West Midnapur, Purulia and Bankura. The party would resolutely combat the terrorist violence of these gangs, which had no mass support .