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regular-article-logo Friday, 19 July 2024

Five Maoists killed, two arrested in encounter in West Singhbhum district of Jharkhand

This is the first major success for the security forces in recent years as part of their offensive against Maoists in the Saranda forest and adjoining areas

Animesh Bisoee Jamshedpur Published 18.06.24, 07:47 AM
Police seized three self-loading assault rifles, one rifle, two bolt action rifles, one pistol, 13 detonators and Maoist literature.

Police seized three self-loading assault rifles, one rifle, two bolt action rifles, one pistol, 13 detonators and Maoist literature. File picture

Five alleged members, including a woman, of the banned CPI (Maoist) were killed in an early morning encounter with security forces in a hilly forest in the West Singhbhum district of Jharkhand, around 250km from state capital Ranchi, on Monday.

Police also confirmed the arrest of two Maoists, including a woman, and the recovery of large numbers of arms and ammunition from the site of the incident.

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This is the first major success for the security forces in recent years as part of their offensive against Maoists in the Saranda forest and adjoining areas.

As per a release issued by the West Singhbhum superintendent of police Ashutosh Shekhar on Monday evening, the targetted Maoists have been identified as zonal committee member Kande Honhaga, sub-zonal committee member Singhrai alias Manoj Kunjam (a native of Sukma in Chhattisgarh), Jonga, Manta Devgam and a female Maoist member Sapni Hansda.

While Kande Honhaga carried a reward of 5 lakh, Singhrai had a reward of 10 lakh and both were instrumental in planting IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) in the Kolhan forest which had killed several security forces.

Arrested Maoists include area commander Pandu Hansda and woman Maoist Batari Banra.

Police seized three self-loading assault rifles, one rifle, two bolt action rifles, one pistol, 13 detonators and Maoist literature.

The encounter occurred Monday morning in the forested area at Lipunga under the Gua police station of the district during a combing operation at around 5am.

“The Maoists started firing at the security forces and in retaliation, the security forces comprising CRPF, West Singhbhum police, Cobra 209 battalion and the Jharkhand Jaguar also started firing. The encounter continued for over an hour. The Maoists taking advantage of the hilly and forest terrain started escaping. During the search, we found four bodies and later in the afternoon we found another body. Two Maoists have been arrested. We are completing all the formalities as per National Human Rights Commission manuals,” said Ashutosh Shekhar.

This is the second incident since the peaceful conclusion of the Lok Sabha elections 2024 in the West Singhbhum district on May 13. During an encounter on May 23, one “area commander” Budhram Munda was killed in a place under the Tonto police station of the district.

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