Maoist ‘sub-zonal commander’ killed in Bihar encounter

Self-styled sub-zonal commander of CPI (Maoist) Mantu Khaira was carrying a reward of Rs 50,000 on his head.

india Updated: Feb 21, 2017 12:45 IST
Avijit Biswas/Avinash Kumar
Avijit Biswas/Avinash Kumar
Hindustan Times, Bhagalpur/Patna
Securitymen carrying out search operation after the encounter with Maoists in Banka district of Bihar. (HT Photo)

A self-styled sub-zonal commander of CPI (Maoist) was killed in an encounter with security forces in Left wing extremist (LWE)-affected Banka district of Bihar, 254km from state capital Patna, on Tuesday.

Banka superintendent of police (SP) Rajeev Ranjan said Mantu Khaira was gunned down by a joint team of the special task force (STF) of Bihar police and the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) in Dahibara forests in Anandpur police outpost area of the district.

The SP, who led the anti-Maoist operation, said Khaira was carrying a reward of Rs 50,000 on his head.

Two SLRs and one AK-47 assault rifle and some grenades were recovered from the encounter site, he added.

Ranjan said the encounter took place when the STF-SSB joint team, acting on a specific input, reached the forest.

Many Maoists were believed to have been injured in the exchange of fire, the SP said, adding that no securityman was wounded.

In Patna, inspector general (operations) Kundan Krishnan told HT that the place of encounter was about 45km from the CRPF camp at Belhar in Banka distict.

“The STF-SSB team came under heavy fire from Maosits when it reached the forest at about 3am, leading to a gunbattle between both the sides, said the IG.

During the search following the encounter, the body of Khaira, who was clad in police uniform, three sophisticated firearms and some other items were recovered from the spot, Krishnan said.

Khaira was heading the Maoist group active in forests of Charkapathar in Jamui and Kauwakol in Nawada district of Bihar as well as Garhi in Giridih district of Jharkhand, the IG said.

Khaira, who loved to wear jeans, had weakness for alcohol and woman, said a police officer on condition of anonymity.

Believed to be a close associate of Arvind Yadav, a self-styled CPI (Maoist) commander of Jamui-Banka zone, Khaira was involved in many incidents of violence, the officer said.

Khaira was directly involved in torching five vehicles, including two JCB earth excavators of a private company engaged in bridge construction near Dudhiatari village of Banka on July 20, 2015, he added.

He was also suspected to be involved in an attack on a police team during raids in the forests at Hardiya-Parariya forest area of Banka last year, the police officer said.

First Published: Feb 21, 2017 12:09 IST