Maoists have opened their account in 2010 in West Bengal by killing a zilla parishad member in Gopiballavpur in Bengal’s West Midnapore district.
The victim, Bhagabat Singh, was secretary of a Communist Party of India (Marxist) local committee and the highest-ranking among the leaders killed since November 2008.
Singh was killed on January 1 in front of his house in Gopiballavpur, a stronghold of the CPI-M, around 170 km west of Kolkata.
About 10 suspected rebels came to Singh’s residence and called his name. He sensed danger and tried to flee, but the assailants caught him and fired at close range.
Though the Maoists haven’t yet claimed responsibility for the murder, the killers shouted Maoist slogans before leaving the spot.
A few hours later, Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, who was in the neighbouring Birbhum district, emphasised on the importance of the Centre and state jointly combating terror.
Although there is no official estimate of lives lost in the Maoist-dominated districts —more than 100 people may have been killed since June 18, 2009, when the joint forces were pressed into service in Lalgarh.