Nine suspected Maoists shot dead in Jharkhand gunbattle

Security forces on Friday morning shot dead nine suspected Maoists in an encounter near Luru forest under the Barwadih police station in Jharkhand’s Latehar district.

The encounter followed a tip-off by an ‘asset’ (a police informer) that said, “A squad of Maoists out to create violence in the area will cross the intersection of two routes near Luru forest on Thursday night.”

The encounter with a squad of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) cadres led by its zonal commander Basant Yadav began around midnight on Thursday and went on till sunrise the next morning .

Following the inputs supplied to the Jharkhand Police’s Special Branch by one of the ‘assets’, the security forces and the police had encircled the intersection of the two routes.

“Once they (the Maoists) opened fire, we retaliated,” said N K Singh, a Sub-Inspector who was involved in the encounter. Two Maoists, who received bullet injuries, managed to escape.

Reports reaching the state capital said nine Maoists, including Yadav, were killed. Officials said a section of the security forces had been stationed at the site of the encounter to carry out combing operations.

“Some bodies and weapons of the (slain) Maoists may be still lying in the area. We hope to recover them,” Inspector General of Police R K Mallick told The Indian Express.

The security forces claimed to have recovered one SLR, five 7.2 bore rifles, three countrymade guns and cartridges after the shootout. Latehar Superintendent of Police Kuldip Dwivedi said eight bodies were yet to be identified.

All nine bodies have been sent for post mortem.

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