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Rebels claim responsibility of ambush

Maoists have claimed responsibility of the July 4 ambush at Lakhari village in Jamui in which a CRPF officer was killed.

In a press release issued late on Tuesday evening, Avinash, spokesperson of the Bihar Jharkhand regional zonal committee of the CPI(Maoist), said their central committee had decided to reward Siddhu Koda, who led the ambush on the CRPF at Khalari on July 4.

CRPF deputy commandant Harikant Jha was killed in the ambush when troops led by him were conducting a search operation. The press release said the CRPF and police outnumbered the rebels but the latter fought “bravely” under Siddhu.

It also denied confessional statements given by Reena Koda, “so-called wife” of Siddhu and claimed Reena had issued such statements to the media under a conspiracy by the police and CRPF.

Avinash said the media was presenting Reena, a rebel, as Siddhu Koda’s wife, when she was actually Reena Rana and had no connection with Siddhu. He also said Siddhu had a daughter of Reena’s age.

The spokesperson lambasted security personnel for torturing Reena, who is pregnant, in judicial custody. He said she was being denied medical facilities and her condition had turned serious.

A lawyer had on Monday filed a petition on behalf of Reena in the court of first class judicial magistrate, Jamui, stating she feared for her life because of torture in judicial custody. Urging the court to save her life, she said she could not walk properly because of internal injuries sustained at the hands of the police and CRPF personnel during interrogation.

The Maoist spokesperson threatened retaliation against family members of security personnel if the torture of women Maoist cadre like Reena did not end.

CRPF personnel had apprehended Reena while she was trying to change her uniform to avoid detection after the operation. Police sources said Reena had fired the shot, which hit the CRPF deputy commandant on his head, leading to instant death.

A senior CRPF official camping in Jamui had said on Sunday that Reena, a frail-looking woman, was a trained Maoist. During interrogation, she revealed she was on the front with women and kids when security forces were proceeding towards their homes for search operations on Friday. “She was arrested with her firearms from the spot,” the officer said.

Reena Koda was among 15 Maoists named as accused in the FIR at Kaira on the statement of its station house officer Vijay Kumar Yadvendu.