Six Maoists killed in police encounter

PATNA: In a major police operation against Maoists in the dense forest near Pachrukhi village on the border of Aurangabad and Gaya districts, six members of the CPI (Maoist) were said to have been killed while a CRPF jawan, Bhrigunandan Chowdhary, succumbed to his injuries while being airlifted to the state capital for treatment on Sunday.

Though the Maoists’ bodies could not be recovered till now, CRPF DIG Umesh Kumar, who has set up a command control room at Gaya, told TOI that the intercepted radio signals of Maoists revealed that six of their men, including one identified as Arvind Bhuiyan, fell prey to police bullets. He said that CPI (Maoist) politburo member, Arvindji, is suspected to have received serious injuries during cross-firing.

The area is considered a Maoist stronghold. In order to take on them, a strong posse of CRPF men was sent into the forest, which falls under Aurangabad district, on the night of September 6. Combing operation started on September 7, in which Bhrigunandan Chowdhary sustained injury.

The terrain is so difficult to trudge that Bhrigunandan could be taken out of the forest only on Sunday morning. He was being airlifted for treatment at the Patna Medical College Hospital when he succumbed to injuries.

The CRPF DIG said Sunday night would be crucial for the operation as police are planning to move deeper into the core area of the forest for a face-off with Maoists. The forest, which is covered with thick vegetation, has been sealed by the security forces. A strong reinforcement was sent to the operation zone from the state capital on Sunday.

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