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Rebel encounter near capital

A joint police team from three districts has launched an anti-Maoist operation barely 40km from the state capital, injuring two rebels in an encounter late on Sunday evening.

Ranchi, Ramgarh and Bokaro police are carrying out the offensive in the forests between Ormanjhi and Gola on the basis of intelligence reports that Maoists from nearby districts have gathered there.

“We spotted bloodstains at several places near Barki Jeratoli village in Gola police station area of Ramgarh district, where the encounter took place. At least two rebels sustained severe injuries. However, we have not been able to arrest anyone. The operation will continue,” DGP Rajeev Kumar said.

Police were tipped off about Maoist movement on the outskirts of the state capital, especially in Orjmanjhi and adjoining Gola. After keeping a watch for about a week, police got fresh inputs that some top-ranking Maoist leaders were expected to come somewhere along the borders of Ormanjhi and Gola on Sunday. A Maoist squad, led by Deepakji, was to receive them.

Ranchi police, led by rural SP S.K. Jha, was asked to corner the rebels from the Ormanjhi end, while Ramgarh and Bokaro SPs swung into action from their districts. But the Maoists seemed to have got a whiff of police presence in the area and did not turn up.

“The real operation began on Sunday. Rebels holed up in the region opened fire when we approached. We retaliated. Firing stopped after a while. We conducted a combing operation on Monday and spotted bloodstains,” Jha said.