Monday, May 12, 2008

2 cops killed, 5 hurt in Maoist attack

HAZARIBAGH/RANCHI/GAYA: A police officer and a CRPF jawan were killed and three policemen injured in an encounter with Maoists in Hazaribagh district on Sunday. Two villagers had to be admitted to hospital after they were caught in the cross-fire. The Maoists also targeted the construction industry in Jharkhand and Bihar, killing a staff and damaging equipment.

Hazaribagh SP Praveen Kumar Singh said the encounter took place in the Dahudag forest. The Naxals killed Charhi police station OC Vijay Kumar Thakur and CRPF jawan Prashant Kumar Patil. Singh said Thakur was heading a joint special task force-CRPF team after spotting a 50-member Maoist group in the forest. "We had got information that Maoist regional commander Navin Manjhi was in the group," said the SP.

The Maoists hit back at the police. Thakur was hit from close range and died on the spot. Another bullet hit Patil on the head, killing him instantly. Another CRPF jawan and two other STF cops were also injured. CRPF constable Rama Shankar Tiwari, who received serious injuries, was taken to Apollo Hospital in Ranchi. Two girls, Manju Kumari and Anju Kumari, who were passing by, were hit by bullets. The SP said Maoists fired more than 250 rounds. "We couldn't launch a counter-offensive. Our teams were busy shifting the injured to hospital,'' said Singh.

Chaibasa police found the body of an employee of a construction company in Noamundi, who they believe, was killed by Maoists. The Maoists had earlier demanded money from the construction company. Maoists also warned Gaya police of "severe retaliatory action" if their four activists arrested on May 7 were not released. In Dhanbad, senior Maoist leader Pramod Mishra was arrested.

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