Ranchi, Sept. 6: Following a night-long free run in a Latehar village, the Maoists attacked an RPF team near it to loot arms and ammunition without any resistance this afternoon.
In a daylight attack, the rebels looted weapons from the RPF jawans at Richuguta station on the Barkakana-Barwadih section of the Dhanbad railway division.
An RPF team, based in Chandwa, about 75km from here, went for inspection today on the section from where theft of railway property, especially coal, was being reported for the past several weeks. The eight-member team, led by sub-inspector V.K. Saha, boarded a goods train in Tori. They went up to poll no. 212, about one-and-a-half-km from Richuguta. After finishing their job, they waited at Richuguta to board a train to return to Tori.
About 12.45pm, over 300 hundred rebels surrounded the station. The cops, albeit “reluctantly”, refused to relent. Consequently, the rebels opened fire. Constable J.N. Bharti was hit in his stomach. Thereafter, the cops surrendered. Bharti was admitted to RIMS, where his condition is reported to be critical.
The rebels took away one carbine, one SLR, five 303 rifles, 90 carbine bullets, 250 303 bullets, 60 SLR bullets, badges on their uniforms, cellphones and cash.
Dhanbad railway divisional chief security commissioner S.K. Dube confirmed the rebel attack.
Earlier, over 400 Maoists stormed Keetagaon village, about 15km from Tori, around 3pm yesterday. Facing challenge by the Jharkhand Sangharsh Jan Mukti Morcha, the rebels moved to nearby Sans village, while the police — who were informed on time — “took shelter” in a temple in Aan village, about 5km away. They set ablaze four houses, motorcycles and foodgrain which they could not carry along from Sans..
A group of Naxalites has taken villagers of Dihee, about 17km from Ghatshila on the Bengal border, hostage late this evening for taking part in the Jamshedpur bypoll. Superintendent of police Navin Kumar Singh said a police team had rushed to the village. Three adjoining villages were also set on fire by the rebels.