Maoists struck with impunity killing three youths suspecting them to be police informers and shooting at and injuring a ruling CPI(M) leader as West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee began a tour of the district on Saturday to take stock of the situation.
Bullet-riddled bodies of three youths Lakhi Das, Jayram Mandi and Manoranjan, with hands and legs tied were found on a road in Kusbani jungle about 70 km from Midnapore, the police said.
The Maoists left behind posters claiming the three were police spies and CPI(M) agents and had been punished.
In Kolkata, Home Secretary Ardhendu Sen said the three victims were Jharkhand Party activists.
Shortly after the chief minister arrived for a review of the law and order and welfare measures in West Midnapore district where tribals-backed Maoist unrest has been continuing despite anti-Maoist operations by central paramilitary and state police, local CPI(M) leader Subhas Soren, was shot at, at Nandasole, about 75 km from Midnapore.
Police said Soren, a member of CPI(M)'s Gopiballavpur district committee, was accosted on the road at around 5:30 pm by suspected Maoists who shot him below the hip.