With the first phase of Jharkhand Assembly polls just around the corner, Maoists killed six people in two separate ambush attacks over a period of 24 hours.
The first attack occurred less than two days after Union Home Minister Amit Shah credited Chief Minister Raghubar Das with “curbing Naxalism” in the state.
The first attack occurred near Lukiatand village under Chandwa police station in Latehar district late on Friday. An official said the four police personnel — identified as Assistant Sub-Inspector Sukra Oraon and home guards Jamuna Prasad, Sakendra Singh and Shambhu Prasad — were killed when Maoists opened fire on a police patrol van. A fifth personnel, who was part of the patrol party, escaped the attack, they said.
In the second incident, local BJP leader Mohan Gupta was shot at by Maoists at Pipra Bazar in Palamu district on Saturday. Gupta died on the spot, while three others were grievously injured in the attack. A second person later succumbed to his injuries. Maoist literature, including calls to boycott the Assembly polls, were recovered from the spot.
Jharkhand DGP K N Choubey said, “Jharkhand has been on high alert since the election dates were announced, so there was no (intelligence) failure.We have identified that Maoists were involved and in the second attack, the perpetrators fled towards Bihar. Investigation is under way.”
When asked why the police personnel in the first incident were poorly equipped, Choubey said, “Since last one year there was no attack in both these areas. I have issued orders to henceforth reduce police’s own vulnerability. I have also proposed action against senior police officers.”
Meanwhile, CM Das condemned the attack and said the state government will not tolerate such incidents. “No change can be brought through the barrels of the guns and those challenging the law of the land and democracy will get a befitting reply,” he said. —With PTI inputs