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Jharkhand: SAP jawans ambushed, 1 dead

Posted by Admin on August 28, 2009

28RanTruck1.jpg Two trucks that were carrying red chillies torched by Naxalites during the recent bandh. Picture by Prashant Mitra

Ranchi, Aug. 27: Maoists spilled blood once again last evening, ambushing a group of unarmed Special Auxiliary Police (SAP) jawans, killing one and leaving two injured at Chormunda in Latehar district, about 145km from the capital.

A plainclothes squad of seven security personnel were escorting company commander Balbinder Singh from Mahuadand to the SAP-1 base camp at Netarhat — the proposed site for a jungle warfare school for policemen — around 6.15pm when the rebels swooped on them.

Armed with semi-automatic rifles, at least 50 men surrounded the SAP jeep in Chormundi village, 17km from Mahuadand and 5km from Netarhat, and opened fire.

A bullet punctured one of the front tyres of the speeding jeep, which overturned. The rebels continued firing on the unarmed men who tried to scurry for cover.

Subedar Chandru Pradhan tooks bullets and died on the spot. Colleague Jasbir Singh sustained a wound while a third jawan, Darshan Singh, was injured when the jeep overturned.

Having survived the first hail of bullets, the other jawans, who could not retaliate in the absence of arms, used darkness to their advantage and hid in the thick bushes flanking the road.

“But the rebels were not ready to give up. They launched a hunt for our men and kept firing all the while,” a police officer said. He said the trapped jawans somehow managed to send an SOS to Netarhat police station. “Reinforcement arrived only at 9pm and the Maoists kept firing and searching the jungle till that time,” he added.

Officer in charge of Netarhat police station Sapan Kumar Mahtha said the jawans were trapped in a tricky situation and had no choice but to wait. “They were rescued around 4am today. They came out of the jungle only after they were sure that the extremists were gone and those searching for them were security personnel,” Mahtha said.

Latehar superintendent of police Kuldeep Dwivedi confirmed the incident. On why the jawans were not armed, he said the matter was being probed.

Besides the three victims, the others on the jeep were the driver, a wireless operator and three constables.

Sources said Pradhan had retired from the Bihar Regiment after 28 years of military service while his injured friends were from the Punjab Regiment.

The attack in Latehar happened within 20 hours of another in Bundu.

A villager playing police guide was killed and a CRPF jawan injured when a group of rebels led by sub-zonal commander Kundan Pahan ambushed a 38-member security party in a state-run school barely an hour before t he 48-hour CPI(Maoist) bandh across five states, including Jharkhand, drew to an end. TT

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