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Biihar: Maoist numbers beat cops

Posted by Admin on August 24, 2009

RED SIGNAL, A woman naxalite waits before her performance at a protest rally in KolkataOUR BUREAU

Patna/Ranchi, Aug. 23: The sheer strength of numbers helped Maoists pull off the fatal attack on a patrol team in Jamui on Bihar-Jharkhand border last night, senior police officers have conceded.

Armed with rifles, bombs and sickles, more than 60 rebels ambushed a six-member Special Auxiliary Police (SAP) force near Sonobazaar, killing four, including assistant sub-inspector Abdul Kalam. A fifth jawan died in hospital today. The Nitish Kumar government has announced a compensation of Rs 10 lakh each to the kin of the deceased SAP personnel.

The Bihar and Jharkhand police have mounted a joint operation in Jamui and its surrounding areas. The body of a Maoist, identified as Naresh Yadav, has been recovered from the spot, triggering speculation that the rebels, too, may have suffered heavy casualties.

Police said the armed squad boarded a tractor trolley to reach the southern bank of river Banarsa. They abandoned the vehicle and crossed the river to reach Sonobazaar. “One of the guerrillas grabbed a jawan from behind and snatched away his rifle while his accomplices opened fire on the security team. Our men were taken aback by the suddenness of the event and outnumbered by 60-odd rebels,” admitted ADG (police headquarters) Neelmani.

More security forces reached the spot soon, resulting in a fierce gun battle. The rebels disappeared into the forests with five rifles and a pistol. “The reinforcement from Jamui district police headquarters forced the rebels to retreat,” the ADG said.

Today, security forces from Koderma and Giridih in Jharkhand joined the flush-out operation. Neelmani said that they suspected that the Maoists were holed up in the forests of the two neighbouring districts.

The Jharkhand police have also sounded a high alert in Giridih. North Chhotanagpur deputy inspector-general M.S. Bhatia said they were not ruling out involvement of rebels from the state in the Jamui attack, as rebels often operated beyond their territories. “As a preventive measure, we have sealed the borders, blocked roads at strategic locations and initiated long-range patrolling in the forests of Giridih and Jamui.”

Giridih superintendent of police A.V. Minz said that they were conducting search operations in border villages and three pickets at Bhelwaghati, Narotand and Teesro had been put on alert. The CRPF has been roped in for the operation while Minz said he was co-ordinating with his Jamui and Lakhisarai counterparts. “Till now, we have not come across any clue about the rebels entering our side from Bihar,” Minz added. Top

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