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Woman found dead in Khunti

Ranchi, June 9: A woman was found dead in Kolanda forest in Murhu area of Khunti district during an anti-Naxalite operation today.

Police said prima facie it appeared that the woman, around 25 years old, was first strangulated and then stabbed repeatedly. The body has been sent for post-mortem to RIMS, Ranchi.

“We are trying to establish her identity and reasons behind the killing. It wouldn’t be wise for me to say anything else at the moment,” said superintendent of police (SP), Khunti, Anis Gupta.

A senior police officer said though it was not yet clear if any rebel group was involved in the murder, they were probing the case from all possible angles. “The body was found deep inside the jungle, where rebels are quiet active. So we cannot rule out the involvement of any banned outfit,” he added.

The murder came to light during an operation to crack down on rebels, who have been trying to reorganise themselves in Khunti in the recent time. The district police have already intensified its search across the rebel-hit areas that led to the arrest of two PLFI members from Hesla forest in Karra last evening. The police seized four rifles and 22 cartridges from the rebels, Niranjan Bando and Anil Munda. Sources said Bando figured as a named accused in several cases registered at different police stations of Khunti and Ranchi districts.

Two days back, the police were tipped off about PLFI area commander Jetha Kachchhap, who had assembled in some remote part of the district along with his two dozen aides. A special team was formed to catch them, but Jetha managed to escape.

“We have intensified our search operations in the entire district. Strict vigil is being maintained at all crucial spots,” SP Gupta said.

A officer at the state police headquarters said the Union home ministry had asked the government to crack down on rebels, putting security forces across Jharkhand on toes.