Three people were killed in clashes on Saturday between activists of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and a tribal body in this troubled zone of West Bengal's West Midnapore district, prompting the authorities to enforce prohibitory orders.
CPI-M leader Anuj Mandal claimed that the victims were party workers and were killed by "goons" of tribal body Peoples' Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPA).
He said nine CPI-M activists were missing after the clashes, which occurred in the Dharampur area over control of political turf.
"We have received information about the killings. We are yet to confirm whether they were CPI-M workers. About the missing people also, we have received a complaint. But I don't have any confirmation," district magistrate NS Nigam told IANS in Lalgarh.
However, PCAPA leader Chattradhar Mahato denied the allegations. "They (the CPI-M) are levelling false allegations. The CPI-M controls the area".
Lalgarh has been on the boil since last November following a landmine explosion targeting the convoy of Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and two union ministers.
The tribals, backed by suspected Marxists, have been on a collision course with the administration over alleged police atrocities in the wake of the explosion.
In Kolkata, two weapon dealers were arrested on Sunday by the state Criminal Investigation Department after recovery of two pistols from them.
"They seem to be going to Lalgarh. We suspect they have contacts with the PCAPA," said a CID officer.