RANCHI: One CoBRA Commando and ASI rank official of State Police were killed during a fierce gun battle which continued for over 3 hours between the security forces and CPI (Maoists) in Saraikela district, about 135 km from the State Capital. Police said that the firing was so intense that they remained cornered for over 3 hours in the jungles due to which they gradually succumbed to their injuries.
The two martyred security personnel have been identified as CoBRA jawan Utpal Rabha and Banua Oraon. Chief Minister Raghubar Das, Chief Secretary Sudhir Tripathi, Director General of Police (DGP) DK Pandey and other senior officials of State Police paid tribute to the dead bodies at Jharkhand Armed Police ground in Ranchi.
DGP DK Pandey claimed that the attempt being made by the Maoists to take shelter in the areas where ‘Patthalgadi,’ was foiled by them as the rebels had been planning to take shelter in those self-proclaimed prohibited areas.
“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 police,” said the DGP. The operation was
being conducted with proper planning and Maoists have also undergone severe damages during the encounter, he added.
The DGP further added that the encounter took place at Jumaro hills under Porahat area on the tri-junction of Khunti, Saraikela and Ranchi districts of the State and said that the operation was still on.
Rabha was killed on the spot while Oraon succumbed to his injuries on the way to Ranchi.
“CoBRA Commando Utpal Rabha was killed on the spot while ASI Banua Oraon succumbed to his injuries on the way to Ranchi after sustaining bullet injuries. They were airlifted from Badani village
located under the bordering areas of Arki Police Station in Khunti and Saraikela,” said Khunti SP Chandan Kumar Sinha.
Police sources claimed that the Maoists, numbering not less than 100, after getting dragged from Saranda forests in West Singhbhum by security forces, were hiding in the area for the last two-three days. After getting a tip-off that some of them were spotted in the area, a search operation launched during which the
encounter took place, said police.
They said that the gun battle started early in the morning between CPI (Maoists) and a joint team of 209th battalion of the CoBRA and State Police started at around 7 an when they were our on a search operation which lasted for over 3 hours. A squad of dreaded Maoist Maharaj Pramanik is said to be involved in the
The security forces could not get time to take position due to sudden attack by the Maoists due to which Utpal Rawa and Banua Oraon sustained bullet injuries. The security forces also started firing in retaliation which lasted for over three hours and ultimately the red rebels had to withdraw.
The Maoists somehow managed to escape from the spot, while intensive search operation was launched in the area to trace them out.