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Encounter in Palamau ...

- Maoist dead as police, CRPF step up offensive

Ranchi, Aug. 18: At least one Maoist is believed to have been killed and several others injured in an encounter with police at Hariharganj in Palamau district in the small hours of Monday.

However, the slain Naxalite’s body could not be found although police recovered several weapons, including stolen rifle, from the spot.

According to district superintendent of police (SP) Y.S. Ramesh, they received a tip-off on Sunday evening that 30-40 Maoists had assembled at Hariharganj. Ramesh immediately formed special teams comprising district policemen, Jharkhand Armed Police and CRPF jawans to corner the rebels from all sides.

“We approached closer to the spot where the Maoists were huddled around midnight. The real encounter began after half an hour and continued for 20-25 minutes. The rebels were forced to flee. Thereafter, we began an intensive search operation in the area and recovered a three-not-three rifle, which they had earlier snatched from police, three .315 bore guns, several countrymade hand grenades, battery chargers, SIM cards, backpacks and items of daily use,” the SP told The Telegraph over phone.

He added that circumstantial evidence suggested that one Maoist was killed during the encounter and several others were injured. But the rebels managed to take away the body of their slain comrade.

The police team suffered no casualty.

Teacher killed

The headmaster of a middle school, Vinod Baitha, was allegedly hacked to death by suspected Tritiya Prastuti Committee (TPC) rebels at a kangaroo court in Latehar district on Sunday.

Baitha was posted at a middle school at Holang village in Balumath police station area. Around 5pm on Sunday, some TPC rebels went to his home at Rampur village in Chandwa and summoned him to their “jan adalat” (kangaroo court).

Police recovered his body from bushes at Sarhat village on Monday. Preliminary inquiries suggested that Baitha was beaten to death with sticks and iron rods.

“TPC’s involvement is likely, but we have not been able to confirm when and where they held their court. We have registered a complaint and begun investigations. The culprits will soon be brought to book,” said Latehar superintendent of police Michael Raj.

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