Naxals struck again, at 1 pm on Monday, in Bihar’s Mahulitand village, killing 10 policemen. The village is close to Giridih in Jharkhand and about 40 km from Nawada district headquarters in Bihar.
The attack — in which eight constables are also reportedly missing — is one of the worst during Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s tenure. In 2003, Naxals killed eight policemen, including a station house officer, at Cherki village in Nawada district.
Of the 10 dead in Monday’s attack, there were an assistant sub-inspector and chief of the local police station and eight jawans of the Bihar Military Police and the Special Auxiliary Police (SAP). Two SAP jawans were also injured and have been hospitalised.
According to reports, a contingent of 20 policemen went to Mahultandi village, where a function had been organised on the occasion of Sant Ravidas Jayanti. But as soon as the function started, around 100-150 men opened fire, killing eight policemen on the spot.
Additional Director General (Headquarters) Neelmani, who uses only his first name, said the banned CPI (Maoist) targeted the policemen as soon they had reached the venue.
“Reinforcements have been sent, but the extremists have planted landmines at several places. The police will carry out thorough combing operations in the area to find out if there have been casualties among the Naxals,” he said.
The organisers of the function, Antar-Jila Anushuhit Jati Vikas Samiti, an organisation of the backward castes, had invited Kauwa Kol police station chief Rameshwar Ram for honouring him. But as soon as Ram went on the dais, firing started.