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Suspected Maoists open fire at officer in Bengal

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Jhargram, West Midnapore
  • Updated: Apr 02, 2014 09:54 IST

Unidentified gunmen opened fire at the subdivisional police officer (SDPO) of Jhargram on Tuesday night triggering a spectre of fresh Maoist activity just before the Lok Sabha elections.

Jhargram was a hotbed of Maoist activity that tore apart this district making it one of the rebel sanctuaries in the country a few years ago. The incident comes as a surprise for the district police, as an incident like this has not taken place in Bengal for the past few years.

Police sources told HT that the SDPO, Vivek Verma was returning at 3 am from work at Belpahari, in the same district, when bullets were fired at his car. However, the bullets missed their mark.

"The incident took place at Jugalpahari, an area very close to the Bengal-Jharkhand border. We are suspecting Maoists behind the incident. A probe is on," said Bharati Ghosh, superintendent of police, Jhargram police district.

Ghosh confirmed the police has seized a landmine, two single barrel guns, one 9 mm pistol, some cartridges including one of AK 47 assault rifles.

Though the rebels were decimated in Bengal following the death of CPI(Maoist) leader Kishenji in November 2011, security forces kept saying they could not be eliminated completely and squads from Jharkhand used to cross over to Bengal intermittently.

On Tuesday some arms were also recovered from the Sarenga area of Bankura.

Over the past few weeks, the police have made some sporadic recoveries of arms and ammunition from West Midnapore district.

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