1 CRPF jawan killed, 11 injured in 12 explosions suspected to have been triggered by rebels

“They said you will find out the reason why you were taken hostage once you are released,” recounted Sai Vamsi Wardhan, one of the four government workers that Maoists kidnapped in Jharkhand, after he was freed on Monday.

Less than 48 hours after Mr. Wardhan heard those words, a CRPF jawan was killed and 11 were wounded in 12 explosions suspected to have been triggered by Maoists.

The CRPF team targeted on Monday afternoon was one of the search parties combing the forested and hilly region of Giridih district for the four kidnapped on Saturday. Hours after the attack, the Maoists released all four hostages unharmed, indicating that the abduction could have been a ploy to lure security personnel into an ambush.

“Though we lost one of our men, we were able to secure the safe release of all four by bringing the Maoists under immense pressure. Our forces surrounded them from all sides,” Jharkhand Director-General of Police Rajeev Kumar said.

More than 500 personnel of the CRPF and special assault groups of the Jharkhand police were deployed for the search operations that began on Sunday. The injured personnel have been flown to Ranchi for treatment.

Maqsood, Shambhu Pandey, Chandra Dev and Wardhan, a 25-year-old software engineer from Andhra Pradesh working as a Prime Minister Rural Development Fellow (PMRDF) in Giridih, were taken hostage from Nakania while they were collecting applications from villagers for government schemes.

“We had just collected various forms from the villagers when 12 Maoists, including two women, arrived and asked us to accompany them. They did not ask us many questions or harm us,” said Mr. Wardhan, who has been working in Giridih since September 2012.

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