Police escape Maoist ambush in Dantewada

Giridih: Police personnel inspect the body of a person killed during a landmine blast, triggered by Maoists in the jungles of Giridih, Jharkhand, on Wednesday. PTI Photo (PTI8_4_2010_000180B)  

Suspected cadres of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) ambushed a contingent of the Chhattisgarh police in the thickly forested Kirandul region of Dantewada district, but failed to inflict any losses on the police.

The police have claimed to have recovered the body of one Maoist.

While the sequence of events leading up to the ambush are not clear, the police claimed that a team of 75 men, including the Station House Officer and Sub Divisional Officer of Police of the Kirandul police station, were returning from a patrol when they were attacked at about 11.30 a.m. in the forests near Goomiapal village.

“While 25 policemen escaped the ambush and returned to their base, 50 policemen remained untraceable for a significant period of time,” said a source in the security establishment.

Informed sources told The Hindu that the police summoned reinforcements to locate the missing men and break the ambush, but the reports could not be verified independently.

“The fierce encounter lasted till about 1.30 p.m.,” said Bastar Inspector-General of Police T.J. Longkumer. “Heavy rains meant that the force could only return to safety late in the evening.”

“We have recovered the uniformed body of one Maoist, a 12-bore shotgun and a few improvised explosive devices, he added.

However, the encounter has raised questions among the intelligence community regarding its duration and intensity and the nature of the armed engagement.

“Frankly we are very confused,” said a senior intelligence officer speaking on condition of anonymity, “What was the police doing in the forest for nearly eight hours? What was the nature of the engagement?”

Intelligence officers were also surprised that not a single policeman was injured in the ambush that lasted more than two hours.

It may be recalled that on April 6, 75 CRPF personnel and a policeman were killed in Dantewada after over 100 Naxals ambushed a patrol party and looted weapons. In another incident on June 29, a large number of Maoists, perched on a hilltop, opened fire with automatic weapons on a 63-member security contingent that was returning on foot from road opening duty, killing 26 CRPF personnel in Narayanpur district.

Five killed by Maoists

PTI reports from Ranchi:

Five persons were killed when Maoists blew up a culvert with a landmine in Giridih district of Jharkhand on the second day of the five-State shutdown called by them. The five, travelling by a car, were killed when Maoists triggered the blast on Tuesday night, Giridih Superintendent of Police A.V. Homker told PTI.

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2022 8:03:17 AM |

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