Ranchi, Feb. 25: A joint team of CRPF jawans and policemen today recovered the body of a Maoist in camouflage uniform from a ditch at Ichagaon in Gumla district.
Although police claimed that Muneshwar Ganjhu (30) died during an operation by security personnel late last night, local villagers said Ganjhu was killed in a gunfight between the rebels and Jharkhand Jan Mukti Parishad (JJMP), a criminal gang.
An SLR gun and 12 rounds of ammunition were also found from the spot, which is under Ghaghra police station and located around 40km from Gumla district headquarters.
“Based on intelligence inputs, security forces launched an operation at Ichagaon. Around 1.30am, the team spotted a Maoist squad on the village’s outskirts and opened fire. An encounter followed in which the Maoist was killed,” said DGP Rajeev Kumar.
A local resident, however, said that a gun battle started between Maoists and JJMP at 7pm on Tuesday. “The armed clash continued for over three hours. Ganjhu was killed in that fight that also left some villagers and JJMP members injured,” he said.
Bloodstains were found along a 150m long stretch, suggesting that Maoists had tried to take away the body, but failed, the resident added.