What happened on Tuesday morning?
The encounter happened at 1 am on Monday. According to a report in The Indian Express, based on a tip-off that the Maoists were on the move in Bhalwahi village near Bakoria, barriers were set up and a police team waited for them. The rebels were travelling in two SUVs and when they stopped at the barrier, the police surrounded the vehicles and told the occupants of the vehicle to surrender. While the police were able to corner one SUV, the other one escaped. Speaking to IBNLive, Jharkhand police IG A Natrajan said, “This incident happened in night. We got the information that there was some Maoist movement in the area. When we stopped their car during checking, they started firing. Then we also retaliated the firing in which 12 Naxals were killed. We will give the whole report to Jharkhand government.” Another report in The Times of India said that the Maoists started firing indiscriminately at the police after which they fired in retaliation.
However, an The Indian Express spoke to the locals who claimed that the Naxals did not retaliate against against the police and not a single police official had even been injured in the incident. A report also noted that the SUV had 22 bullet marks, including nine at the back. However, there were no blood stains.
Top Maoist commander, 4 minors killed: The Jharkhand encounter you should know about
On late Monday night, CRPF and the police shot dead 12 suspected Maoists, including four children, in Palamu district of Jharkhand. Speaking to the media after the encounter, police Inspector-General SN Pradhan said that the Maoists were attacked while they were on their way to extort money from several mining contractors. Here’s all we know about the shootout in which top Maoist commander Anurag Yadav was killed:
Minors among those killed
Among the 12 ‘suspected’ Maoists killed late on Monday night, four were minors. According to this report in The Hindustan Times, the police said that the children were in ‘olive-green’ uniforms and armed. “There were four children, aged 14-15 years, among those killed in the encounter,” DGP Pandey told HT and added saying, “They are poisoning innocent minds.” “Bullet does not differentiate,” Pandey told The Indian Express. The killing of the 12 Naxals on late Monday night, while hailed as a “great success” by the Jharkhand Police, has raised many questions, especially over the killing of the four minors. Monday’s encounter was also the first major face-off between security personnel and Naxals since the Dumka attack in April last year when rebels had ambushed a police vehicle and killed six policemen.
Who was killed in the attack?
The police are touting the fact that they killed Anurag Yadav, alias RK alias Doctor, in the incident. The commander of a zonal committee of Maoists, RK led the a formation which was considered the strongest in Latehar, Gumla, Lohardaga and Simdega districts of Jharkhand. According to reports, Yadav was also the ‘secretary’ of south Garhwa sub-zone and led a group of 11 members all of whom were killed in the encounter. The government had announced an award of Rs 10 lakh for Yadav. Yadav was reportedly the Maoist leader who ensured that a the stomach of a CRPF official slain in a skirmish in 2013 was cut open and filled with explosives before it was kept for police to find, reports The Times of India.
Nallamala emerging as shelter zone for Maoists?
MAHBUBNAGAR: The dense Nallamala is likely to emerge as a shelter zone for Maoists if the recent Naxal movement in the forest belt is any indication. After bifurcation, the Nallamala has become an inter-state forest between AP and Telangana, and Maoists have so far taken shelter in forests on state borders. Police also fear a spurt in their activity during the monsoon as the tree covers turn denser with almost nil visibility. The rains will also result in increased availability of food in the forests.
According to tribals living in the Nallamala forest, there has been an increase in the movement of Maoists. “Annalu are now increasingly moving in the interior villages. For almost eight years there was a lull in the movement of Annalu. After the division of the state, their footfall has gone up,” a Chenchu leader told TOI. Recently, Maoists were seen at Munnanur village in Atchampet division and Ajilapur. There have been reports that the Maoists have taken shelter for some time in Bollavaram village abutting the forest in Kurnool district.
In fact, the police arrested 10 Maoists from the jungle last month. Jana Sakthi leader Kura Rajanna was also taken into custody from a house in a hamlet in the forest. Senior police officials, however, deny the movement of Maoists in the forest. Hyderabad range DIG Y Gangadhar said the police in the two states have been sharing information. He, however, refused to accept that there was regrouping of Maoists in the Nallamala. “We have not received any reports of the Maoists regrouping. But we have perfect coordination with the AP police,” he pointed out.
Nallamala was once the bastion of the Maoists, but after the unsuccessful peace talks between the AP government and the Maoists during 2004-2005, the police launched an offensive forcing the Maoists to retreat. Maoists have always concentrated on inter-state borders as they can easily move out of one state into the other after committing offence. Lack of effective coordination between police of different states has often helped the Naxals to hop from one state to another. According to experts, Maoists have thus far been operating from AP-Odisha, AP/Telangana-Chhattisgarh, Telangana-MP and Telangana-Maharashtra borders.
Villager killed as Maoists attack police during raid
Gumla (Jharkhand), Jun 10 (PTI) A villager was today killed when Maoists opened fire on police while trying to escape a raid at their hideout near Katkari village in Gumla district. On receiving information that Maoists were hiding in the village, a combined team of CRPF and district police personnel raided a house and arrested CPI (Maoist) sub-zonal secretary Prasad Lakra alias Ashok and two of his associates, Jevan Lakra and Franscis Toppo, Superintendent of Police Bhimsen Tuti said here.
The rest of the rebels ran up the nearby hill and started firing on the police. Their bullets hit a villager, identified as Christopher Gidh, who died on way to hospital, the SP said. Six modern weapons were seized from their possession by the police after the encounter, he said. Prasad Lakra was wanted in several naxal-related cases, including the killing of five police personnel in Gumla’s Chenpur in 2012, attack on Chenpur police station and blowing up a block office, the SP said.
12 Suspected Naxals Killed in Encounter With Police in Jharkhand
PALAMU, JHARKHAND: Twelve suspected Naxals were killed in an encounter with the police in Bihar’s Palamu district in the early hours today. The incident took place around 2:30 am in Bakoria village, about 140 kilometres from state capital Ranchi. The police had received a tip-off that the Naxals would be travelling in a Mahindra Scorpio through the area. Accordingly, a team of the specialised CoBRA battalion and the district police were rushed to the spot.
As the vehicle approached the area, security personnel who were lying in wait, tried to stop it. On seeing the security personnel, the suspected men got down from the vehicle and opened fire. The security personnel retaliated and 12 Naxals were killed in the exchange that lasted for over an hour. “Right now, we have recovered 12 bodies of the Naxals including the body of RKji who is a zonal commander and close to the supremo Arvindji who’s a Communist Centre member,” Additional Director General of Police (Operation) SN Pradhan told NDTV, adding “it is possible that there was another vehicle and some of them managed to escape.” A search operation has been launched in the area. Eight weapons, including an INSAS rifle, were recovered from the spot, police said.