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Maoists, CPM exchange fire

Midnapore, Sept. 21: Two CPM activists were seriously injured when armed Maoists and a resistance group mostly of the Left party’s cadres exchanged fire for about four hours in West Midnapore this evening.

Maoist leader Kishanji later claimed that 10 CPM activists had died in the encounter in Enayetpur, about 10km from Midnapore town, but police did not confirm any deaths.

“At least 10 CPM cadres have been killed in the encounter. I invite Dipak Sarkar (the district secretary of the CPM in West Midnapore) to come and see the condition of the armed cadres of his party. We have surrounded the CPM office in Manidaha in which about 150 armed CPM men are holed up. If the men do not surrender their weapons, we will blow up the party office,” he said. Manidaha is about 5km from Enayetpur.

Four hundred security personnel who were sent to Enayetpur from Midnapore town around 8.30pm were engaged in a gun battle with the rebels till late in the night.

District CPM secretariat member Dahareswar Sen said the Maoists attacked the Enayetpur party office. “When the Maoists came to capture our party office, our workers resisted their attempt.”

West Midnapore superintendent of police Manoj Verma said: “We got news of an encounter between the Maoists and a resistance group. The security forces moved to the area around 8.30pm. They are now engaged in an encounter with the Maoists. We are yet to receive reports of any casualty.”

Local CPM sources said over 2,000 villagers owing allegiance to the People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities, and led by armed Maoists, marched towards Enayetpur to take control of the CPM stronghold that till now the rebels had not attacked. The villagers also blocked various roads in the area with trees.

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