Five personnel of the Jharkhand Armed Police (JAP) were killed on Thursday when cadre of the banned CPI(Maoist) opened fire at a village market in Chainpur in Gumla district along Jharkhand’s western border with Chhattisgarh.

Surprise attack

Two villagers were also reported to have been shot dead but the government officials did not confirm this. “This attack took the police by surprise. The group of Maoists led by Arvind ji has split into smaller groups and we believe this attack was carried out by one such group,” said Jharkhand Director General of Police Rajeev Kumar who has left Ranchi for Gumla.

“Three personnel of the Sixth Battalion of JAP died on the spot, and two succumbed to injuries after they were airlifted to Apollo Hospital in Ranchi. The Maoists opened fire at the police and snatched three INSAS rifles,” said Jharkhand police spokesperson DIG Richard Lakda.

Havaldaar Bhola Singh, constables Ram Narayan Ram, Chhote Lal Murmu, and Dilip Bediya, besides ASI Gopal Singh died in the incident, he added.

“I do not have any information on two villagers being killed in the crossfire,” he said. Gumla SP Rakesh Bansal was not reachable on the phone.