Five security personnel, including three CRPF men, today suffered injuries in an IED blast during an anti-Naxal operation in the jungles of Latehar district, even as the forces seized 50 bombs, 165 detonators and over five dozen grenades.
Officials said the encounter occurred when a patrol team led by CRPF’s CoBRA unit was on the Buda Pahar axis where Latehar’s border touches another district of the state
-- Garhwa -- and neighbouring Chhattisgarh.
An encounter took place between the CRPF men and Naxal cadres of the ‘Arvidndji Dalam’, they said.
“Five troops have suffered minor injuries after an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) exploded. They include two assistant commandants and a jawan of the CRPF and two sub-inspectors of Jharkhand police. The team was out for an anti-Maoist operation,” they said.
165 detonators, 50 IEDs, 20 explosives, 63 grenades, 20 bullets, rations, medicines, 100 litres diesel, cordex wire and other items were seized from two hideouts, they added.
The injured personnel, identified as assistant commandants Varunendra Singh and Jitendra Singh, havildar Subhash Shinde of Cobra 209 batallion and police sub-inspectors Prabhakar Munda and Vinay Kumar of Latehar, were air-lifted to Ranchi for treatment, the officials said, adding that the operation which began last evening has now ended.
There was information that four ultras, who were injured in a recent encounter with security personnel in Chhattisgarh, were being brought to Latehar through Buda Pahar for treatment, officials said.
Also that top Maoist leader Arvind, who carries a reward of Rs one crore on his head, along with senior LWE leaders Sudhakakran from Andhra Pradesh and others had assembled at Buda Pahar, they said.
The security personnel entered the Maoist hideouts in the dense forest in total darkness. Apart from Latehar, Garwah, Palamau district police force, Chhattisgarh police also participated in the operation led by SP Anoop Birtheray, police said.
The security personnel in the past had at least 12 armed encounters with Arvind and the operation yesterday was stated to be the biggest launched in Latehar after the recent visit by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
The Central Reserve Police Force CRPF) is deployed in the state as part of the anti-Naxal operations grid.