Maoists shot dead three Forward Bloc activists in West Bengal's Purulia district, police said on Monday.
The killings took place late Sunday in Pardi village, Inspector General of Police (Western Range) Zulfikar Hassan said.
"A gang of 40 armed Maoists from Ayodhya Hills attacked the village and dragged the three out of their houses and killed them. A police team has gone there," Hassan said.
According to villagers, the Maoist squad comprising 40-50 cadres attacked the village at 11.10 p.m. Sunday. They dragged out Dasarath Majhi, Leru Majhi and Choto Majhi from their houses and took them to a culvert a few metres away and shot them dead around midnight.
Among the victims, Dasarath Majhi was a ration dealer, Hassan said.
Maoist posters claiming responsibility for the killings were found at the site, stating that all the Forward Bloc leaders were corrupt and were leading an anti-Maoist movement in the region, said Rajesh Majhi, a Forward Bloc supporter in Pardi village.
A intelligence official said: "We had information that the ultra Left rebels are planning to attack in the area and they have started assembling in Ayodhya hills."
Purulia police superintendent said: "Joint forces are now conducting a search operation in the area."
Maoists are active in three western districts of the state - West Midnapore, Purulia and Bankura.