Two activists of splinter Maoist group, People’s Liberation Front of India (PLFI), which included a woman, were killed in an encounter with a joint team of the district police of Singhbhum West (Chaibasa), Khunti and the Central Reserve Police Force, on Tuesday morning. The encounter occurred on Chaibasa-Khunti border near Baghia Baru village under Gudri police station area of Chaibasa.
The identities of the slain cadres were yet to be identified, the police said, while adding that search and combing operations were on.
According to the police, a joint team of the district police and 94th Battalion of the CRPF rushed to the jungle area on the border following tip-off about presence of a group of PLFI activists this morning. As the forces tried to surround and arrest the group, they resorted to firing. The security forces returned the fire.
The exchange continued for nearly an hour, even as a few of the members managed to escape. After firing started, the security forces launched a search operation during which the body of two activists, including a woman were found. The police recovered a carbine, pistol, cartridges, mobile phones and seven backpacks from the spot.
Chaibasa Superintendent of Police Anish Gupta said: “The forces have launched a massive combing operation in the area and it will continue. We are trying to identify those killed.” Senior officials of Jharkhand police and the CRPF also reached Chaibasa to take stock of the operation.
PLFI has a strong presence in Khunti district and it was possible that they had slipped into Chaibasa in a bid to evade the Khunti police.