Four villagers have been abducted by suspected Maoists in West Bengal's Purulia district, police said Friday.
"We were informed that four villagers near Arsa police station were believed to have been abducted by Maoists Thursday evening...we will conduct raids in the area," Purulia Superintendent of Police Rajesh Yadav told IANS over phone.
"We were informed about the incident Thursday night so we did not conduct a search operation in the dark as they could have trapped and ambushed our forces," said Yadav.
A senior police officer on condition of anonymity said they were told that a group of 30-35 Maoists dressed in olive green outfits apporached the four people from Bhuda village in Arsa while they were working in the field.
"The villagers - Banamali Sardar, Ratan Murra, Kalicharan Murra and Biren Sardar - were asked by the Maoists to show them the route towards a hill in the area ....the villagers were asked to go with them (Maoists). The villagers were not traced till Friday morning," the officer said.
"The family members have told us about the incident but no complaint was lodged with the police," he said.
The abduction ironically took place when security forces, including Combat Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) and the state police's anti-Maoists wing - Counter Insurgency Force (CIF) - conducted a combing operation in Ayodhya Hills prior to Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee's visit to the district Nov 14.
Maoists are active in three western districts of the state - West Midnapore, Purulia and Bankura.