April 4, 2018 11:48:14 am
At least five alleged naxal operatives were killed in an encounter with a joint team of the Jharkhand police and the CRPF in Latehar district on Wednesday morning. The forces have recovered arms and ammunition after the encounter, which is being seen as a major accomplishment following the death of top naxal commander Arvindji in the Budha Pahar area of Latehar district on March 22.
The encounter comes on a day when Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das will be in Betla wild life sanctuary to hold review meetings on Border Area Development plans, security-related concerns in Budha Pahar area and focussed area development plans in left-wing extremism affected areas.
Police said the encounter started in Badgaon forests on the border of Manika and Herhanj police station area of Latehar district on Wednesday morning, claiming that among the slain naxals, some were senior senior operatives. “Jharkhand Jaguar, district police, CRPF and CoBRA battalions were involved in the encounter. Five naxals have been killed. Their identities are being established. We believe that some senior naxal operatives could have been killed. Our forces have further gone in search of other naxals who have managed to flee. We are expecting more successes. A massive combing and search operation has been launched,” said IG (Operations) Ashish Batra.
Three AK-47 rifles, one INSAS rifle and one .315-bore rifle, besides lot of ammunition and other materials, have been recovered from the spot. The encounter shows that Jharkhand police have been gaining momentum in their fight against naxals. Since January 2018, the security forces have gunned down over 15 naxal operatives, including both CPI (Maoist) and PLFI cadres. Police sources said the basic ground work for wresting the Budha Pahar area, considered to be a safe haven for the naxals, was being done with speed, leading to naxals being pushed back further.
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