Jawans injured in border encounter
OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
Havildar Subhash Shinde being taken to Medica hospital in Ranchi on Friday. Picture by Prashant Mitra
Ranchi, Jan. 13: Six security personnel were injured today while a Maoist reportedly sustained bullet wounds in an encounter in the dense forests atop Burhapahar, which straddles Latehar and Garhwa districts in Jharkhand, and Balrampur in Chhattisgarh.
Till last reports came in, a search operation was underway in the area, which comes under Baresand thana in Latehar and is about 90km from district headquarters and 200km from Ranchi.
The place has been cordoned off from all sides. Additional forces have been rushed to the spot while Chhattisgarh police are also believed to have joined the operation.
“Right now, we are in CPI(Maoist) politburo and central committee member Arvind’s den. The injured jawans have been evacuated. Five among them have been admitted to Medica in Ranchi. Some recoveries too have been made,” said ADG (operations) Raj Kumar Mallick.
The jawans admitted to Medica have been identified as Subhash Shinde, Prabhakar Munda, Vinay Kumar, Jitendra Singh and Varunendra Pratap Singh. Among them, CRPF (CoBRA) havildar Shinde’s suffered severe splinter wounds and fractures on his legs, thighs, face and other parts of the body.
The sixth one received minor injuries and was not brought to Ranchi. “All are out of danger,” said the hospital’s medical director Sanjay Kumar.
Sources at the police headquarters said that a team comprising jawans from CoBRA battalion (CRPF), Jharkhand Jaguar, JAP and district armed police got cracking after information came in that Arvind had taken shelter in Burhapahar forests. Once the personnel became certain of the hideout, they cordoned off the area late last night and waited for sunrise to begin their operation. As they began advancing to the spot early in the morning, the Maoists opened fire. The security forces retaliated too, but the rebels triggered land mine blasts, injuring four personnel.
A few more landmine blasts followed, injuring two more personnel. A rebel also reportedly sustained injuries as the men in uniform fired back.
“Bloodstains scattered at the spot suggest that several other rebels might have been injured during the encounter,” said Mallick.