The security forces shot dead six Maoists in an intense eight-hour gunbattle in Banka district on Saturday even as many of those leading the charge could have escaped through the forest, police say.
One person has been arrested.
Deputy inspector general (eastern range) Amit Kumar Jain said a police rifle, a carbine, two self-loading rifles, 250 cartridges and 150 shells of used cartridges, besides some police uniforms, were recovered at the encounter site, 55 km from district headquarters at Banka, 208 km south-east of Patna.
One of the extremists killed has been identified as Joseph, an area commander of the outfit. He was a resident of Banka district and police wanted him in connection with a number of cases related to extremist violence, Jain said.
Officials who had been tipped off on the movements of the Maoists had dispatched a battery of policemen, who made a ring round the village where the rebels were camping and probably planning a big strike.
Police reinforcements were rushed to strengthen the cordon around the village. Jain, who too had been in the theatre of operations, told HT the extremists set the house in which they were hiding on fire. This was done to find an escape route. However, the Maoists had no inkling, that the fire would spread fast and some of them would get trapped.