Gaya, June 10: A Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawan was killed and seven security personnel were injured in an encounter with Maoists in the forests under Dumaria police station in the district this morning.
The injured were five CRPF jawans, a Special Task Force (STF) jawan and an additional superintendent of police.
Police claimed at least six Maoists were also killed in the four-hour-long encounter. However, additional director-general of police, headquarters, Ravindra Kumar said the security forces gunned down two rebels during the exchange of fire.
CRPF deputy inspector-general (DIG) Umesh Kumar confirmed the death of the CRPF jawan, Sachindra Sharma.
Gaya additional superintendent of police (Naxal) Shambhu Prasad was critically injured and has been admitted to Anugrah Narayan Medical College and Hospital (ANMCH).
A helicopter was pressed into service to airlift the injured personnel to ANMCH. Raju Topo, one of the injured CRPF jawans, was referred to Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH).
“The encounter took place between the security men and the Maoists after the CRPF, STF and Gaya police personnel launched a joint combing operation in the forests following a tip-off that a huge number of rebels had gathered in the area,” Umesh Kumar said.
On seeing the force approaching the area, the Maoists triggered a landmine explosion around 6.30am near Karmathan under Dumaria police station. Sharma, who was following an anti-landmine vehicle on a motorcycle, was seriously hurt in the blast and later succumbed to his injuries. The anti-landmine vehicle of the security personnel was also damaged in the explosion.
As the security personnel advanced further, the Maoists triggered another blast around 10am at Barha Chhakarbandha forests. Two SUVs of the security personnel were damaged in the explosion.
The Maoists fired at the force and the security personnel retaliated. The encounter continued till 2pm, sources in the police said.
The injured jawans were first taken to Imamganj primary health centre. CRPF personnel Raju Topo and Karmaem, STF jawan Mukesh Kumar and additional superintendent of police (Naxal) Shambhu Prasad, were airlifted to ANMCH. Three CRPF jawans — Ravindra Kumar Singh, Satyanand Yadav and Manikanth — were admitted to the primary health centre.
ANMCH superintendent Sitaram Prasad told The Telegraph: “The best possible treatment was made available to the injured.” Inspector-general (operations) Amit Kumar rushed to Gaya and met the injured security personnel at ANMCH.
Gaya senior superintendent of police Vinay Kumar and city superintendent of police Babu Ram went to Dumaria with additional reinforcements.
A massive search operation has been launched in the area following the encounter. Senior police officers did not divulge whether any body of the rebels or arms, ammunition or explosives were recovered from the encounter site or not.
The police in Gaya have sought assistance of their Aurangabad counterparts for the search operation.