PATNA: A wanted Maoist commander in Bihar, who carried a reward of Rs 1 lakh on his head was killed in an encounter with security forces in the insurgent-affected southeastern Banka district on Tuesday.
Mantu Khaira, zonal-commander of the outlawed CPI (Maoist), died from gunshot injuries during an anti-Maoist operation, led by SP Rajeev Ranjan in Dahibara forests under Anandpur police outpost area of the district.
The security forces, comprising personnel from the special task force (STF) of Bihar police and Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), recovered two SLRs, an AK-47 rifle and some grenades at the encounter site.
“The joint team of STF and SSB started a combing operation after getting tip-offs about a gathering of the Left-wing rebels in the forest. An exchange of fire started after the rebels fired at the security personnel early in the morning,” said Ranjan.
After firing from the Maoists stopped, the security personnel searched the site and recovered the body of Khaira and arms and ammunition at the site, which is some 50 km from the CRPF camp at Belhar in Banka district, he added.
No security personnel was injured during the encounter, and Ranjan said some Maoists may have received injuries. “We are keeping an eye on the entire area to trace injured Maoists receiving medical treatment,” he added.
Khaira, known to be a close aide of CPI (Maoist) commander Arvind Yadav, was in police uniform, said sources. “He had been heading CPI(Maoist) squads in many parts of Jamui and Nawada districts and in neighbouring Jharkhand’s Giridih district,” said a police official.