Armed CPI(M) supporters and Maoists exchanged fire on Monday in West Bengal’s West Midnapore district in which some people are believed to have been injured.
Confirming the firing between the two sides, district SP Manoj Verma said: “A gun battle is raging between the Maoists and CPI(M) supporters at Enaitpur. We cannot give the casualty figure right now.”
Asked whether there would be a police operation to stop the firing at night, Verma said, “We cannot reveal this.”
According to top police sources, nearly 500 rounds have been fired so far with the police unable to enter the area as roads have been dug up.
Maoist leader Kishenji claimed that CPI(M) supporters had shot at three women in Palasi village, of whom two died and another was admitted to a Midnapore hospital.
“After this, villagers led by Maoists surrounded the CPI(M) office at Enaitpur and firing started,” he told PTI from an undisclosed location.
Sources in the CPI(M) said that the Maoists had taken shelter behind human shields and was firing at its cadre in the party office.
Last week, suspected Maoists had gunned down four CPM supporters in Lalgarh. Among the victims was a para-teacher, who was shot dead while taking his class.
Kartyk Mahato, police said, was a CPM supporter and para-teacher in Jamda High School at Belatikri. He was taking his class in the morning when the suspected Maoists arrived in two motorbikes, barged into the classroom and shot him dead.
Later, the Maoists fled the area, talking away Mahato’s motorbike.
In another incident in Guripal village, two CPM supporters — Sambhu and Anadi Mahato — were shot dead. Sambhu was a local CPM leader and Anadi his associate. The duo was shot dead at a tea stall.