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Lalgarh: Two Maoists killed in police firing

Posted by Admin on September 3, 2009

LALGARH (WEST MIDNAPORE): Two suspected Maoists have been shot dead following a heavy gunbattle at Madhupur village near Lalgarh in West Midnapore on Wednesday evening.

Police claimed that two more suspected rebels were caught from the village and three guns recovered from the nearby forest along with ammunition and some explosives. This is the first time that police managed to recover the bodies of Maoists after an encounter in Jangalmahal.

Police sources claimed that in the afternoon, security forces were on patrol at Madhupur and Birbhanpur village near Lagarh. While they were crossing the forest stretch near Jora Bridge a bridge across an irrigation canal inside the forest the Maoists started firing on the police team.

Jawans secured cover and replied with heavy firing. Facing strong resistance from them, the Maoists reportedly moved towards Madhupur village known as their stronghold.

Meanwhile, reinforcements from Salboni police station headed towards Madhupur and the force which was battling near Birbhanpur started chasing the rebel brigade. Being chased, the red brigade tried to take shelter deep inside the forest near Memul another hamlet near Madhupur. A fresh battle started at Memul and the heavy firing forced the Maoist brigade to retreat, leaving behind two of their slain comrades.

Police took the bodies to Salboni thana and rounded up two others from the spot of firing. Police claimed that one of the bodies has been identified as Haradhan Mahato’s who had been an active member of Maoist squad. “Both of them died of bullet injuries,” confirmed a senior district police officer.

The arrested duo have been identified as Gautam Mahato of Goaltore and Ajay Mana of Madhupur village. While police claimed that Mahato and Mana are Maoists, PCPA leader Chhatradhar Mahato rubbished the claim. “Both are members of our organization and police are branding them as the Maoists,” said Mahato.

Police said that three guns, 17 rounds of ammunition and some explosives were recovered from the spot along with water bottles and dry food, which proves that rebel brigade had been stationed there for the past few days.

Earlier, after each encounter, police claimed that they had managed to gun down some of the rebels, but never managed to recover any body to back their claims. From this aspect, Wednesday’s operation can be called a major success for the security forces who have been criticised for failing to flush out the Maoists.

Days before, two important members of the Maoist “military commission” were held in Jharkhand and police are hoping that with their help, it will be easier for the security forces to find out rebel hideouts. TT

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