The Maoists launched a daring raid on Jhargram town and killed three CPM men. Earlier they seized the village of Lalgarh.
West Bengal Chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee ordered a crackdown on the Maoists after a meeting of the Left Front but left it to police to decide the date. Home secretary Ardhendu Sen said state police would lead the assault, with central forces providing the crucial back-up.
A unit of Cobra, the elite anti-Naxalite force in Jharkhand, arrived at Kalaikunda late Wednesday night. Twelve more companies of central forces are arriving in phases to Midnapore town.
A pitched battle is on the cards in Maoist terrain. The guerrillas are not worried about the crackdown threat. They propose to use women in the forefront to dissuade the police from firing to kill.