JHARGRAM: Four Communist Party of India-Marxist supporters were shot dead on Friday by suspected Maoists, Indian website Indian Express reported.
The report said their bodies were dumped on the state highway at Belpahari near Lalgarh in West Midnapore district with the Maoists threatening to intensify their campaign. Ashok Ahir, Swapan Ahir, Sanatan Ahir and Nazrul Mir were shot dead at point-blank range early on Friday for being ‘police informers’ and the bodies left on Silda-Bankura road near Anthela village, Indian Express quoted the police saying. The middle-aged CPI-M supporters were picked up from their residences at Chandabila village by a group of 20 armed Maoists at midnight on Thursday.
They had been missing since then and the bodies were recovered on Friday morning, members of a team of police and paramilitary forces who reached the spot, said. The police have seized Maoist literature and posters strewn near the bodies condemning the four as “police informers”. The hand-written posters also revealed that the bloody campaign in Lalgarh and the nearby jungle areas will continue.
Meanwhile, life in the jungle area comprising West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia districts of West Bengal came to a standstill in a Maoist-sponsored 24-hour strike on Friday. Shops, business establishments, offices, schools were closed and no vehicle was seen on the roads, the police said. Earlier this month, Maoists had shot at and seriously injured 50-year-old Alok Mahali, a CPI-M leader, at Gidhni in West Midnapore district. In a separate Maoist-related incident in India, four policemen were arrested from different parts of Lucknow on suspicion of being involved in a deal to supply arms and ammunition to Maoist rebels.
The news agency Indo-Asian News Service (IANS) said a Special Task Force, carrying out a joint operation with the police, arrested four men from Gonda, Faizabad and Gorakhpur districts of Uttar Pradesh on Friday. They were held after their names were disclosed by anarmourer of Basti district who is being interrogated for his alleged involvement in the racket. “We assisted the STF in making the arrests on the basis of statements given by our armourer,” Superintendent of Police (Basti) Gyan Singh told IANS.
Published in the Express Tribune, May 15th, 2010.