Suspected Maoists today shot at and injured two persons, one of them a former CPI(M) leader, at Jhargram in West Midnapore district where a bandh disrupted normal life for the second day.
Police said Debashis Banerjee (50), who had publicly disassociated himself from the CPI(M) by issuing posters sometimes back, was shot at by three youths as he was helping relative and newspaper distributor Bablu Banerjee sort out morningers at Manikpara bazar.
Bablu, who tried to shield Debashis Banerjee, also received bullet injuries and the two were rushed to Midnapore Sadar Hospital where the ex-CPI(M) leader's condition turned critical, police said.
The attackers left in a motorcycle.
A pall of gloom descended in Manikpara area as Debashis Banerjee was a social activist associated with a home for underprivileged girls at Manikpara.
Normal life came to a standstill in Jhargram sub-division and other parts of Naxalite-dominated 'jangalmahal' (forested parts) of the district in response to a two-day shutdown called by Maoist-backed People's Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCPA), today.
Reports said vehicular traffic was off the roads while shops, markets were closed. Attendance at government offices was very few in the sub-divisional area, the reports said.