Ranchi, Aug. 3: A CRPF head constable was injured in a gun battle between joint forces and Maoists in a Palamau forest this morning, while a youth in a Simdega village was killed last night by suspected PLFI rebels.
Jawan Shankarlal Singh sustained bullet injuries in his left leg during an encounter in a forest in Panki police station area of Palamau, following which the police seized five powerful landmines and over 1,000 metres of electric wires.
After being administered first aid in Daltonganj, Singh was brought to Apollo hospital in Ranchi this evening.
Police spokesperson Richard Lakra added that the injured jawan was brought to Panki station in an anti-landmine vehicle and safely sent for medical treatment.
The police claimed that several rebels were killed in the encounter, though not a single body has been recovered yet.
According to CRPF inspector-general D.K. Pandey, the joint personnel were going ahead with a combing operation in the Mathlong Pahar area of Palamau.
Near Tal village, a road passes between two hillocks. The rebels had planted several landmines along it.
A Naxalite squad too was lying in ambush near a culvert. On being challenged by the police, they retaliated fiercely. The exchange of bullets went on for several hours, starting early morning.
“The operations are still on. Several landmines and other explosives have been recovered. But we will be able to tell anything in definite terms only after the forces return,” argued Pandey.
Palamau DIG Praveen Singh confirmed that five landmines and over 1,000 metres electric wires seized from the incident spot were brought to the district headquarters.
District’s superintendent of police Anup T. Mathew added several rebels might have been killed or injured, adding search operations were on.
A senior officer at the police headquarters said that until recently, the forces were losing lives and weapons in rebel ambushes.
Meanwhile, Simdega police chief Prabhat Kumar said the bullet-ridden body of Maqbool, a resident of Girda village in Bano police station area, was found near a tree by his relatives later at night after a few acquaintances had called him out of his house for some talks around 9pm.
“The killing may be the outcome of a personal feud or old rivalry. Different aspects of this case are being probed,” Kumar said. A police source said PLFI rebels, with whom he had some links, might have killed the victim, possibly over levy collection.