Maoists kill four policemen in West Bengal (Lead)November 8th, 2009 - 11:13 pm ICT by IANS
Kolkata, Nov 8 (IANS) Four Eastern Frontier Rifles (EFR) troopers were killed in an ambush by Maoist rebels in West Bengal’s West Midnapore district Sunday, hours after Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee wrapped up his two-day visit to the district by throwing a challenge to the Left-wing ultras.
“Four policemen have been killed. The bodies have been brought to the Jamboni police station from the spot,” an officer manning the state police control room here told IANS.
“We have heard that some policemen have also been injured. But we don’t know the numbers,” he said.
West Midnapore district magistrate Narayan Swarup Nigam told IANS that the troopers of the EFR, a paramilitary force of the state police, were posted in the Jamboni camp close to the ambush spot in the crowded Gidhni market.
The troopers, out on a patrol from the camp, were attacked when they had stopped to have tea Sunday evening. The heavily armed Left-wing extremists sprayed the victims with bullets before fleeing on foot into a nearby jungle with their automatic rifles.
The spot under Jhargram sub-division is about 8 km from the state’s border with Jharkhand and 25 km west of Lalgarh town.
Following the attack, a large contingent of central paramilitary troopers and state armed policemen cordoned off the area and engaged the rebels in a gunfight.
About a couple of hours before the daring attack, the chief minister had thrown a challenge to the extremists by asserting at a public meeting in the district: “We’ll defeat Maoist ultras and will chase them out of our state.”
Last month, the ultras had attacked the Sankrail police station in the district, killing two police officers and abducting officer-in-charge Atindranath Dutta. Dutta was released unharmed after two days in captivity.
The state government has launched a massive security operation comprising central paramilitary troopers and crack personnel from the state police in and around the Lalgarh belt since June 18 to flush out the Maoists, who had turned the area into a virtual free zone since last November.
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