RANCHI: One CoBRA (Commando Battalion for Resolute Action) commando and an ASI-rank police officer were killed in a fierce gun battle which continued for over three hours between security forces and Maoistsin Jharkhand’s Saraikela district, about 135 km from Ranchi.
The police said the firing was so intense that they remained cornered for over three hours in the jungles.
“CoBRA commando Utpal Rabha was killed on the spot. ASI Banua Oraon succumbed to his injuries on the way to Ranchi after sustaining bullet injuries. They were airlifted from Badani village located under bordering areas of the Arki police station in Khunti and Saraikela,” said Khunti Superintendent of Police Chandan Kumar Sinha.
Commando Utpal Rabha, 27, hailed from Meghalaya’s North Garo Hills district. Director General of Police (DGP) DK Pandey claimed that the attempt being made by the Maoists to take shelter in areas where ‘Patthalgadi’ (self-proclaimed prohibited areas) was foiled by his men.
“It was an attempt by Maoists to take shelter in the villages where ‘Patthalgadi’ had been performed, assuming that such areas would have less intervention of the police,” said the DGP. The operation was being conducted with proper planning and the Maoists have also suffered severe damages in the encounter, he added.
The DGP added that the encounter took place at Jumaro hills under Porahat area on the tri-junction of Khunti, Saraikela and Ranchi districts.
Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das, Chief Secretary Sudhir Tripathi, DGP DK Pandey and other senior officials of the state police paid tribute to the martyred personnel at the Jharkhand Armed Police ground in Ranchi.