Maoists kill three CPI-M men in West Bengal


Kolkata : The New Year began on a violent note for the ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) in West Bengal as suspected Maoists struck in three southern districts, killing three party members.

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The leftist guerrillas shot dead Pahalan Kumar Majhi in Purulia district Tuesday. The headless body of Sisir Chatterjee, a CPI-M zonal committee member, was recovered from Burdwan the same day, while a party member of Nadia district committee, Ram Prasad Mondal, was shot dead by a group of assailants Wednesday. In both Burdwan and Nadia, the assailants were suspected Maoists.

The Maoist link was being probed into all the incidents. In the latest incident in Nadia, CPI-M member Ram Prasad Mondal was shot dead Wednesday afternoon when he was returning home.

The incident took place at Chapra area in the district.

“We have recovered some Maoist posters from the spot. And after our primary investigation, we can say Maoists were involved in the killing,” Nadia police superintendent Hari Kishen Kushamakar told IANS.

” We have got some clues and are now trying to arrest a few people following those trails,” Kushamakar said.

Earlier Tuesday, Majhi, a CPI-M worker in Purulia’s Balarampur area, was shot dead after the insurgents dragged him out of his home, the police said. The CPI-M observed a six-hour shutdown in the area to protest the killing.

In Burdwan a group of assailants, suspected of having connections with the Maoists, killed the 52-year-old Chatterjee Tuesday afternoon in Mangalkot area.

Chatterjee, a primary schoolteacher, was on his way back from a party meeting in Koichor village, around 170 km from Kolkata, when he was attacked.

The group, reportedly armed with sharp weapons and rods, intercepted his cycle. They slashed Chatterjee’s throat, possibly with a chopper and then beheaded him, according to the police.

The police have zeroed in on a few suspects and have detained four people in connection with the murder.

“We came to know that two of them (assailants) have a strong Maoist bent of mind,” said Piyush Pande, superintendent of police in Burdwan.

“As we could not find the victim’s head, we suspect the gang carried it with them,” Pande said, adding that Sisir had set up a resistance group to prevent criminal activities in the area.

“Both the incidents trigger an alarm that the Maoist rebels are consolidating their attacks on the CPI-M men in the rural belts of West Bengal. We are conducting big drives in the areas where the incidents are taking place,” Raj Kanojia, West Bengal inspector general of police (law and order), told IANS.

He said in December last year the state police conducted a massive search operation in Maoist-affected districts including Purulia, Bankura and West Midnapore.

Reacting to the increasing incident of Maoist attacks on party workers, CPI-M central committee member Shyamal Chakraborty held the media responsible for the incidents.

“The media reports are constantly coming in favour of these Maoists. The media representatives don’t want the CPI-M to be in power and thus they are supporting the Maoist rebels by not writing anything against them,” Chakraborty told IANS.