A constable belonging to the CoBRA force engaged in anti-Naxalite operations was killed in rebel fire during a joint operation to nab a top Maoist leader, who is wanted in over two dozen cases, including the killing of JMM MP Sunil Mahato and former Jharkhand minister Ramesh Singh Munda.
CPI (Maoist) zonal commander Kundan Pahan is also believed to be involved in the killing of Special Branch Inspector Francis Induwar and carries a reward of Rs 5 lakh on his head.
Following a tip-off that Pahan was camping in the West Singhbhum’s Porahat forest — a junction used by the Maoists to move from Tamar in Jharkhand to Midnapore in West Bengal and Sundergarh in Orissa — the police forces of Jharkhand and West Bengal launched a joint operation with CRPF and CoBRA personnel on Monday.
“A hut-to-hut search was conducted in the villages falling under the Porahat forest area after we received inputs that Pahan and his armed associates were hiding there,” a senior police official told The Indian Express. “The entire Porahat forest area was encircled.”