Trooper, Maoist killed in gunfight | kolkata | Hindustan Times
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Trooper, Maoist killed in gunfight

A joint forces trooper and a Maoist fighter were killed in a shootout in West Bengal's West Midnapore district early today, police said.

kolkata Updated: Jun 27, 2010 12:04 IST

A joint forces trooper and a Maoist fighter were killed in a shootout in West Bengal's West Midnapore district early Sunday, police said.

The body of the unidentified Maoist was recovered after the fierce clash that took place around 3.30 am in Ghrita village under Jhargram sub-division, a police officer said.

Police claimed two more Maoists could have been killed, but their bodies were yet to be recovered.

The slain trooper was identified as Ektadul Islam (26), attached to the fourth battalion of the Specially Trained Armed Company (Straco) raised to combat insurgency and terrorism. He was a resident of Manikchak in north Bengal's Malda district.

"We got a tip-off that a group of Left-wing extremists had taken shelter in the area. So we raided the village," Jhargram District Superintendent of Police Praveen Tripathi said.

Two security men were injured in the exchange of bullets.

Sunday's encounter comes 11 days after the June 16 clash between Maoists and the joint forces comprising central paramilitary troopers and state police in West Midnapore district.

Eight rebels, three of them women, were killed in the operation at Ranjha forest, about 20 km from the Binpur block headquarters Lalgarh.

The firefight in Ranjha forest has been touted as one of the biggest successes of the joint forces deployed in the Maoist-infested parts of the district since June last year to flush out guerrillas, who had set up a strong base in and around the Lalgarh belt, about 200 km west of Kolkata.

Apart from West Midnapore, Maoists are also active in Purulia and Bankura districts.