2 tribals shot dead in clashes with CPM men

Kolkata: At least two tribals were shot dead and several injured in West Bengal on Monday in a clash between the activists of the ruling communists and a tribal group allegedly backed by the Maoists, police said.

Tribal people at Lalgarh in West Midnapore district had revolted against the communists after several of them, including women, were allegedly tortured by the police probing a blast in November. The blast had been triggered by the Maoists aimed at senior government ministers.

The clash on Monday occurred at a funeral procession of Nandalal Pal, a slain leader of the ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M). The leader was allegedly killed by the Maoists.

Maoists kill 2 policemen

"The tribesmen - a father-son duo - died in firing at Ramgarh town. But are yet to confirm if they were fired upon by the avenging CPI-M members or the Maoists," Rajesh Kumar Singh, superintendent of police (West Midnapore), said over phone.

"Many are injured in the clash," he said.

Singh said the tribesmen, organised under an outfit now called Police Santrash Virodhi Committee, were backed by the Maoists and attacked the policemen and damaged their vehicles on Monday.