Jamshedpur, May 15: A company of CRPF personnel was locked in an encounter with suspected Naxalites at Talai jungle in Saranda this morning, prompting the paramilitary forces to launch a combing operation after the three-hour-long intermittent gun fights.
No casualties were reported on either side.
West Singhbhum superintendent of police Arun Kumar Singh said the CRPF jawans were carrying out long-range patrolling in the Talai jungle in Chotanagra police station area of West Singhbhum district, about 150km from Jamshedpur.
“The long-range patrolling was begun around 8.15am based on intelligence inputs of Naxalites entering Chotanagra last night. As the jawans were negotiating a patch of dense jungle, bullets rained shots from a distance. The CRPF jawans retaliated immediately by opening fire,” said the SP.
He pointed out that the suspected Naxalites would stop firing for a moment only to resume when the CRPF jawans also stopped.
Singh told The Telegraph that there were two squads of Naxalites, each comprising around 20 men. He pointed out that the rebels were on the move and headed towards the southern areas of Saranda’s bordering Odisha.
Meanwhile, Maoists resorted to a poster campaign after stopping the Tata-Bilaspur passenger train at Posaita station near Manoharpur last night.
Sources said the rebels stopped the train forcibly and asked the passengers to step out for half an hour, triggering panic.
According to railway police, the Maoists allowed the passengers to get on-board once again after they pasted posters on the train asking everyone to support their cause. The incident took place around 11pm.
The rebels have also called a 24-hour Bharat Bandh tomorrow to protest against the Operation Green Hunt launched by the Centre to fight Maoists, the Union government’s bid to form a National Counter Terrorism Council and various other issues. The bandh call will be effective from midnight.
The district police of East and West Singhbhum as well as Seraikela-Kharsawan have beefed up security arrangements to ensure normalcy in the Kolhan region during the bandh. The railway police have also taken adequate measures to ensure train services are free from any untoward incident.