Blood continues to be spilt in West Bengal amid ceasefire offers and counteroffers by the Centre and CPI(Maoist).
Rabilochan Mitra, Inspector-in-Charge of Sarenga Police Station in Bankura, was shot dead by Maoists on Wednesday night.
This is the first instance of a police officer
of the rank of inspector being killed by Maoists in West Bengal after Centre-State combined forces were pressed into service in the state on June 18, 2009.
The clash ensued after Maoists attacked the residence of Tarashankar Patra, a local CPI(M) leader.
Patra was shot in the leg.
The Sarenga police station is close to Patra's residence. After getting a phone call about the attack Mitra reached Patra's residence and engaged the Maoists in a fight.
Initially, the Maoists retreated. But they retaliated and a bullet hit Mitra in his chest.
Police claim to have gunned down a Maoist called Jannath Duley. One rebel is injured and has been admitted to the hospital.
Patra, too, is in hospital and is being treated for bullet injury. Bankura is one of the three districts of Bengal that are dominated by Maoists.
The other two being West Midnapore and Purulia. The West Bengal administration has decided to expand the list of Maoist-affected police stations to 28 from 21 in these three districts.
The seven stations added to the list is supposed to get a company of state armed police by next week.