Three unidentified armed persons, suspected Maoists open fired on the police leaving one injured at Amrapara area of Jharkhand’s Pakur district on Thursday, which will go to polls in the fifth and final phase of state assembly election on Saturday.
The alleged Maoists after the attack fled with three police rifles, said the police. The one injured is an ASI rank official, confirmed police sources from Pakur. The injured policeman was rushed to the local hospital and has been referred to the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences in Ranchi. He, however, is out of danger, said sources from Pakur hospital.
Elections in the Maoist-affected, tribal state began on November 25 and this is the second reported case of attack on the police. On December 14 at least five alleged rebels open fired at the security forces at Pirtand in Giridih district, but no casualties were reported.
Earlier in November, alleged Left Wing Extremists set campaign vehicles of different parties on fire and had beaten up party workers of the Bharatiya Janata Party while they were campaigning in the hinterland.
21 of the 24 districts in Jharkhand are declared LWE affected and heavy forces were deployed across the sensitive state for peaceful elections.
The place where the incident took place fast turned into a police camp with at least 100 armed policemen being deployed at the place within a couple of hours.
Jharkhand Director General of Police, Rajiv Kumar, who was in Pakur on Thursday morning, said that the attackers are yet to be identified but are suspected Maoists. He said that police forces have been deployed in the area to counter future attacks if any.
“Men have been deployed to counter the attackers if they return, while civilians have been asked to stay indoors,” he said.
The incident, a day before the final and probably the most important phase of the Jharkhand elections has also raised the eyebrows of the political parties in fray.
As many as 16 of the 81 assembly constituencies here would vote on Saturday and the political parties fear that the Thursday’s incident may affect the turnout of voters on the D-day.
Campaigning for the final phase of election concluded at 3pm on Thursday and the attack was executed at about 6pm.