An activist of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) was shot dead by unknown assailants in a Maoist-dominated area of West Bengal's Purulia district, police said on Tuesday.
The bullet-ridden body of Srikanta Hansda was found in a jungle near Maa Kapali village in Bandwan area.
Police suspect that Hansda was killed by the Maoists while JMM leaders alleged that he was shot dead by the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) activists.
"During preliminary investigation, it was revealed that Hansda was returning home Monday night when he was stopped by some unknown people, forcibly taken into the jungle and later shot dead. The modus operandi indicates that he was murdered by the Maoists but no Maoists posters were found from the spot," a senior police officer said.
JMM state unit chief Ajit Prasad Mahato, however, alleged Hansda was shot dead by the supporters of the CPI-M.
"Hansda was several times threatened with dire consequences for not joining the CPI-M by quitting JMM," he said.
Purulia Superintendent of Police Rajesh Yadav said that investigations are on.
"We are looking into every possibility, whether Hansda was murdered by the Maoists or miscreants backed by some other party," he said.