One person was reportedly killed in an exchange of fire between two left-wing groups under Bandgaon police station area in West Singhbhum (Chaibasa) district on Friday evening.
The police launched operations into the densely forested area late evening. The operations are still continuing. The police said that they have not yet recovered body of any person.
The police said that armed groups from CPI-Maoists and People’s Liberation Front of India came face-to-face in Bondger village, nearly 20 km off Bandgaon police station at around 4 p.m. Firing between the groups carried on for a couple of hours before the suspected cadres fled into the densely forested area. There were reports that a priest of a local church was killed after being caught in the cross-fire.
Chaibasa Superintendent of Police Michael S Raj said: “The fight between the CPI-Maoists and People’s Liberation Front of India personnel started around 4 p.m. The police teams have launched combing operations. No body has been recovered, as of now. However, the reports that the person who died was a priest turned out to be false as the man reached the police station this morning to clear the air, following reports in the local media.”
He added that, although the frequency is not too high, different left-wing groups clash among themselves to establish supremacy. Additional Superintendent of Police (Operations), P R Mishra, said: “The force entered the area, where the confrontation took place last evening itself and it continued through the night. The teams have not returned yet. Therefore, there is no confirmation of any death so far.”
The police are treading carefully in the wake of the landmine blast in Palamau when a police team returning after Long Range Patrolling was targeted and seven police personnel lost their lives on January 27.