A member of the People’s Liberation Front of India (PLFI), a break-away group of the CPI (Maoist), was shot dead and four others injured, including former Maoist and PLFI leader Dilip Singh, in an encounter with the Rourkela police on Sunday night. Police claimed the miscreants are involved in the murder of BJD leader and former Rajgangpur block chairman Hardeep Singh, whose bullet-ridden body was recovered from near a road connecting Kansbahal-Bhugarh on Saturday night.
Briefing the media in the presence of Rourkela SP Himansu Lal, DIG (WR) Y Jethwa said on Sunday night, following two murders in quick succession, the special squad of Rourkela police with a squad of the district volunteer force (DVF) started the special operation to nab the PLFI members.
Acting on a tip-off about their assembly at Manzurgarh near Udugaon, about 50 kms from Rourkela, a special squad under the leadership of Rourkela SP Himansu Lal proceeded to the spot to verify the authenticity of the information. With the assistance of the Jaldega police, the team conducted the raid at about 9 pm on the area, leading to exchange of fire. After firing, the police found 5 PLFI members were lying with their arms. On verification, one of them Rajan (22) was found dead and the other four injured persons Samuel Munda alias Lugun (19), Sunil Singh (20), Dilip Singh alias Sakha Tiger alias Srinuf Khadia (25) and Jhonson Munda alias Singh (20) were shifted to Ispat General Hospital (IGH) immediately for treatment. Another one Manisha Lugun (20) who was trying to flee with his fire arm was apprehended by the police.
The police have seized one AK-47 rifle with 3 magazines, one 9 mm Carbine machine gun with one magazine, one SLR, one pistol, 163 rounds of live ammunition, six mobile phones, two gilatine stcks, one day-binocular, two pairs of uniform, one bundle of PLFI letterhead, one receipt book, a Hindi book on Marxism, one TVS Apache motorcycle (OR14X-2103) and one Bajaj Pulsar motorcycle (without number) from the spot.
In this connection, a case was registered in Jaldega police station and it is under investigation.
The PLFI members are involved in various criminal activities under Bisra, Hatibari and Rajgangpur police station besides more than 25 other cases in Jharkhand. According to the police, all the six belong to Jharkhand. The police are hopeful of arresting other members of the team soon, as they are operating in different groups areawise, with the tip-off they would get during interrogation of the injured and the arrested persons.
It is to be mentioned here that after the killing of a BJD leader on Saturday, it was not only a challenge for the police but also police were under pressure as the Chief Minister and the DG of Police had directly talked on the issue with Rajya Sabha member Mangala Kissan and senior police officers.