Hazaribagh/Ranchi, Aug. 10: At least three rebels are reported to have been killed till late this evening in an ongoing gun battle between members of CPI(Maoist) and the Jharkhand Prastuti Committee (JPC) in Arabhusai forest of Katkamsandi, Hazaribagh.
The gun battle raged on at Lawakudar, 54km from the district headquarters.
Unconfirmed sources said among those killed in the turf war was JPC supremo Kaljit. They added that the gun battle started sometime in the afternoon with both sides firing several hundred rounds so far.
Hazaribagh SP Manoj Kaushik and ASP Sudarshan Mandal have rushed to the spot with a large police contingent.
The gunfight might have been spurred by the death of a Maoist cadre who was felled by JPC bullets in an encounter in Panki forest area of Palamau late last night.
The police recovered the body of the deceased, whose identity is yet to be ascertained. The security forces also have failed to make any significant recoveries from the incident spot suggesting that the rebels had enough time to flee. Police said that the body had been sent for post-mortem. Palamau SP Anup T. Mathew said the forces received information about the shootout at Panki around 12.30am today.
Meanwhile, in another incident, five officials of NTPC were injured after being attacked and looted by a gang of criminals in Khunti yesterday.
Sources said the officials had gone to Rania to carry out inspection works on an upcoming sub-station when the incident took place. The gang made away with cash, wristwatches and mobile phones.