West Medinipur: A group of over 100 Maoists raided a village and gunned down two local leaders of Communist Party of India (Marxist) at Silda in West Medinipur district of West Bengal on Wednesday (March 24).
They also attacked and caused extensive damage to the premises of the Range Forest Office.
Reportedly, after setting the office buildings of the party office on fire, they gunned down two party members to death.
The targeted party workers were identified as Himangshu Dey and Sibu Mondal.
Some leaflets against the ”Operation Green Hunt” were found lying near the dead bodies with a warning that if the operation continued they would continue with their attack on the state government, presently ruled by the CPM-led Left Front.
A Range Forest Officer, who was also attacked, managed to survive.
“They first started smashing everything; then they began knocking on my door with iron rods. I opened the door and a Maoist man hit me on my head and face. He was armed with two rifles, bow and arrow, iron rod and also an axe over his shoulder. There were 150 Maoists including half a dozen women Maoists,” said Kalipada Singh, Range Forest Officer, Silda.
The Maoists contend that they are fighting for the rights of the poor and marginal farmers and the landless labourers.
The Maoist rebels have ignored repeated calls from the government to renounce violence and negotiate.
Instead, they have stepped up attacks in recent months, prompting the government to go after them in a concerted strike.
Thousands have been killed in the Maoist insurgency, which Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has described as the gravest domestic threat to India”s internal security.