Ranchi/Bhubaneswar, Jan. 2: Twelve policemen forced around 150 armed Maoists to retreat after they raided an outpost in a Jharkhand district last night.
A constable was killed and seven policemen were injured.
Officials believe the three-hour encounter at the Bansjora outpost in Simdega district also left at least six rebels dead.
Around 150 armed Maoists opened fire at the outpost around midnight, Sergeant Major T.K. Jha said. They also hurled petrol bombs.
Constable Sumit Kumar Sahi, who had stepped out, was caught unawares and fell to the rebels bullets. He died on the way to hospital.
The rest of the policemen at the outpost — 12 of the 22 posted there were present — then fired back.
Rourkela police chief Ravikant said a combing operation was on and a red alert had been sounded in Orissas Sundergarh district. The outpost is barely a kilometre from the Orissa border.
Jharkhand director-general of police Vishnu Dayal Ram, who visited the outpost, said all the policemen on duty at Bansjora during the raid would be promoted.