Ranchi, Oct. 19: The state police and CRPF launched a fresh offensive against Maoists in Chatra and Palamau districts this morning after calls from Bihar to fight the rebels together following yesterday’s landmine blast in Gaya that claimed six jawans.
Sources said 10 companies of the joint forces have been deployed in the operation in Chatra and Palamau, which share borders with Gaya.
Five CRPF jawans were killed and 10 others, including a deputy commandant, injured when Maoists triggered a landmine blowing up a patrol vehicle in a forest area near Tarchaun in Imamganj in Gaya. The place shares its border with Huntergunj block of Naxalite-hit Chatra.
Today, a CRPF inspector succumbed to his injuries, taking the toll to six.
“The blast was triggered in the Chatra-Gaya border. Our counterparts in Bihar have sought our co-operation to intensify the fight against Naxalites along the inter-state borders. The modus operandi suggests that the same CPI(Maoist) group which had triggered a landmine blast killing 13 policemen in Garhwa in January is behind yesterday’s attack. We have also started an offensive this morning,” inspector-general (operations and special branch) S.N. Pradhan told The Telegraph.
Yesterday, two Mi-17 choppers of India Air Force, which were stationed in Ranchi airport, were sent for search and rescue operations.
Sources said the home department-owned Dhruv helicopter was also pressed into service yesterday to conduct an aerial recce in Gaya. CRPF IG M.V. Rao added operations were on. “But we are yet to meet any success against the Naxalites,” he said.
Pradhan said security forces in Palamau and Chatra were put on alert.
The joint forces is also conducting an operation against PLFI in Khunti, Simdega and Gumla since October 8.