A gunbattle broke out between the CPI(M) and the Sidhu Kanhu militia of the People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities in Ruparghagra forest on the Bankura-West Midnapore border on Sunday evening, police sources said.
Three members of the militia, including its chief Sidhu Soren, suffered bullet injuries before the group retreated.
The firing started around 5.30 pm and continued for about one-and-a-half hours.
“I’ve no information of any such gunbattle,” Manoj Verma, West Midnapore, SP said. Vishal Garrg, Bankura SP, also denied having any information.
Police sources said some CPI(M) activists tried to venture into the forest, known to be a Maoist stronghold. Villages such as Habra, Sarulia and Pathordoba between Sarenga and Goaltore police station areas were caught in the firing.
Activists of the militia and the CPI(M) have been clashing over the past two months. The PCAPA and its militia had decided to expand towards Sarenga in Bankura after the CPI(M) “reclaimed” some villages from the PCAPA two months ago.
“This was another attempt by the CPI(M) to recapture villages but they could not venture any further because of the militia’s resistance,” an officer said.