India's largest communist party has urged New Delhi to rush paramilitary forces to a district in West Bengal that has been overrun by Maoist guerillas.
The Communist Party of India - Marxist (CPI-M), which has administered West Bengal since its first election victory in the state in 1977, has said in a statement that Maoist fighters were unleashing a 'reign of terror' in the Lalgarh area of West Midnapore.
The CPI-M politburo reported that nine of its cadres had been kidnapped.
'The bodies of three of them have been found but the others have not been traced,' it said.
The party demanded that the federal government 'immediately rush the required number of paramilitary forces to the area as requested by the state government.'
It claimed that its members and supporters are being hounded out, with party offices and houses of CPI-M workers being ransacked and set ablaze.
'The Maoists are using poor tribals as human shields to further their goals,' the CPI-M alleged.
'Shockingly, these depredations have the indirect and direct support of important sections of opposition political parties in West Bengal.'