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Since 1st March, 1999
 
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Glare on Giridih top cop

Ranchi, Nov. 12: Chief minister Arjun Munda today directed the state police to submit a detailed report on the November 9 Maoist raid in Giridih that left four persons, including three cops, dead.

A probe team headed by Bokaro range inspector general of police M.L. Meena will take into account the circumstances leading to the incident in the heart of mica town despite an intelligence input that warned the law and order machinery about a possible Naxalite attack.

“The chief minister was obviously not happy about the Giridih incident and today reviewed the general law and order situation of the state. The government will wait for the final inquiry report before taking action against anyone,” chief secretary S.K. Choudhary told The Telegraph.

Choudhary was among those who attended the meeting chaired by Munda to discuss the state’s security and general law and order issues at Project Building today. Others present were home secretary J.B. Tubid, director general of police G.S. Rath and other senior police officers.

On November 9, a 60-strong Maoist hit squad on 25 motorbikes and an SUV waylaid and fired upon a transit van ferrying prisoners, killing three policemen and a jail inmate in Giridih town. The attack took place around 3.55pm on the Giridih-Dhanbad road.

The daring 30 minute raid successfully freed six hardcore rebels, who were among the 32 prisoners, being escorted back from court.

Top police officers were of the opinion that the incident was the result of negligence on the part of the district police led by superintendent A.V. Homkar.

“Despite concrete intelligence information in advance that Maoists could strike the prison van in the middle of town, police cared little to provide fool-proof security for prisoners being ferried to and from court,” said a senior officer.

Out of three escort parties which were supposed to provide security that day, only two were available. Of the two, one comprised women constables who fled when the rebels struck.

Asked about the ongoing inquiry, Meena told The Telegraph that he was yet to submit a report.

He refused to comment when asked why the district police did not take precautionary measures when there was an intelligence input and why there was slackness in providing an escort party to a prison van carrying dreaded Maoists.

Moreover, the jail administration and district police could have arranged for online trial through video-conferencing.

Sources said once prisoners are outside the jail premises, the onus is on the district police to provide proper security to the prisoners while they are on the way to and back from the court.