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Maoists blow up school

Ranchi, Dec. 4: Maoists blew up an under-construction school building in Kurnagarh village under Chainpur police station area of Gumla district in the wee hours today.

There was no casualty in the incident, which comes close on the heels of Maoists blowing up a police jeep on a highway in Bihar’s Aurangabad district yesterday, killing eight personnel.

The school building that was targeted in Gumla was meant for a primary school, which now runs from a nearby area. “The primary school building in Kurnagarh was under construction. It became a soft target of CPI(Maoist) apparently because of its geographical location. They used explosives to blow up the building. No one has been injured or killed. We have begun search operations,” said Gumla superintendent of police Rakesh Bansal.

This is the first major Naxalite attack in Jharkhand since the People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army, the armed wing of CPI(Maoist), began its martyrdom week on December 2.

The police headquarters in Ranchi have already asked all superintendents of police (SPs) to take extra precautionary measures in the wake of the Bihar ambush. As such, search operations have been intensified in all Naxalite-affected districts with the SPs leading from the front.

When contacted, Palamau SP Narendra Kumar Singh said he was busy leading Operation Hunt, especially in areas bordering Bihar.

A large portion of Palamau district adjoins Aurangabad district of Bihar.

“We are fully prepared to deal with the eventualities. The so-called martyrdom week has been largely peaceful here till now. Detailed reports on the outcomes of search operations in different parts of the districts are being compiled,” he added.

Chatra SP Anup Birthare too confirmed that searches were being conducted in areas adjoining Bihar. Similar operations are being carried out in full swing in Simdega, Latehar, Garhwa and Lohardaga.