Security forces, Maoists exchange fire in West BengalNovember 12th, 2009 - 12:38 am ICT by IANS
Kolkata, Nov 11 (IANS) Security forces Wednesday fought a long-drawn gun battle with the Maoists in West Bengal’s troubled West Midnapore district while police fired tear gas shells to quell an agitation by tribals.
The central paramilitary troopers and state armed police personnel, conducting a joint operation to flush out Maoist rebels from around Lalgarh belt, faced a volley of fire from the ultras in the jungle area of Laxmanpur Wednesday morning.
The forces fired back and the gun battle continued for 90 minutes.
In another incident, tribals under the banner of the Maoist-backed People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPA) brought out a huge rally in Jhargram town in protest atrocities by the security forces. They were armed with bows and arrows and other traditional tribal weapons.
“We had to fire tear gas shells after a baton charge failed to disperse the mob which was armed and had violated section 144 (prohibitory orders banning the assembly of more than four people) in force there,” district police chief Manoj Verma told IANS over phone.
Ten people were arrested. The PCAPA later called a 72-hour shutdown in West Midnapore district from Thursday.
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