RANCHI: ONE Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) jawan was killed and four others injured during an encounter with Maoists in Jharkhand’s Dumka on Sunday morning. Police said a jawan, who was critically injured, was airlifted and admitted to Medanta Hospital in capital Ranchi.
“We received an intelligence tip that a Maoist squad had been spotted camping in the Katalia forests in the Shikaripara police station area on the Ranishwar border and rushed a joint team of SSB and state police to the spot. As the forces reached the spot, the Maoists, who were 12-15 in number, opened fire. In the ensuing gun battle, Neeraj Chhetri of the SSB was martyred,” Dumka SP YS Ramesh said. Some rebels also suffered gunshot wounds in the retaliatory fire by the forces, the SP said.
The SSB released a statement saying three other injured jawans — Sonu Kumar and Satish Gujjar and Karan Kumar — were admitted to Dumka Sadar Hospital. The SP said the rebels camping in the forests were planning to ambush security personnel who had been carrying out search operations over the last few days.
“One of the jawans, Rajesh Kumar Rai, sustained bullet injuries in both his legs. He was airlifted and admitted to the Medanta Hospital. Three others are receiving treatment at Dumka Sadar Hospital,” the SP said.
Sources in the police department said the Maoist squad featred Nishikant and Vijayji, close aides of top commander Tala Da alias Shahdev Rai who was killed in an encounter with the police in January.
The slain commander was wanted in several cases of loot and murder, including the killing of Pakur SP Amarjeet Balihar in July 2013.
Chief Minister Raghubar Das vowed to root out the Maoist menace from the state.