Maoists in West Bengal killed a Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader and his bodyguard after dragging them out of a bus.
Police said Anil Mahato, 45, the local committee secretary of the CPI-M at Shilda in West Midnapore district and his AK-47-equipped guard Dinesh Baskey, 34, were gunned down by the rebels on Tuesday evening, in one of the major attacks since the peaceful Assembly elections in the Maoist-affected district in April.
The incident occurred at Joypur in the district, about 230 kms from Kolkata.
Mahato was provided an armed guard after a bid on his life in February.
The CPI-M leader had gone to attend a programme of the party's women's wing in Murari village of the neighbouring Bankura district, also a Maoist-infested region.
Around 5.30 pm, when the bus in which he was travelling was nearing Joypur, three rebels swooped down on him and snatched his bodyguard's weapon.
They dragged the two out of the bus where more rebels were waiting and gunned them down before the eyes of the other passengers in the bus, police said.
The CPI-M has called for a dawn-to-dusk shutdown in the Binpur Assembly segment of the district on Wednesday.