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8 Maoists killed, 80 landmines recovered

One was identified as Basant Yadav, a sub zonal commander, while two others are suspected to be area commanders of the CPI-M, reports HT Correspondents.
Hindustan Times | By Prakash Kumar | Nityanand Dubey | Sanjay Sahay, Ranchi
UPDATED ON APR 01, 2008 08:18 PM IST

Joint teams of the Jharkhand police and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) on Tuesday achieved two major successes against the Naxalites in two separate operations.

Security personnel gunned down eight hardcore CPI (Maoist) cadres, including a woman and a sub zonal commander, in Garhwa in the wee hours in a fierce encounter and recovered a huge cache of arms and ammunition from their possession.

They also recovered 80 landmines planted on a 1.5-2km stretch of macadamized road in Bokaro in a special operation, which is still continuing. Director General of Police VD Ram said the recovery of landmines was the biggest in Jharkhand. Police sources said it was the biggest haul in the eastern region so far.

The Maoists were gunned down at Bandu village under Ranka Police Station in Garhwa after 1 am on Tuesday when they were moving on a tractor. “We had received a tip off about the movement of Maoists. One SLR, four 303 rifles, three 315 rifles, one stengun, one DBBL gun, one country made revolver and large number of live cartridges besides naxal literatures and belongings of the Maoists were recovered,” the DGP said.

Of the eight deceased, one was identified as Basant Yadav, a sub zonal commander, while two others are suspected to be Rajesh Paswan and Lallan Thakur, area commanders of the CPI (Maoist). “Others are yet to be identified,” the DGP added.

Regarding the landmines recovery, the DGP said it was made from the forest area in Bokaro between DTPS and Nawadih police stations after the police teams acted on a tip-off and pressed landmine search devices into service. The landmines had been planted in a series to target police, he pointed out.

He announced Rs 20,000 cash reward to each of the officers of Jharkhand police and CRPF who participated in the Garhwa operation and Rs 10, 000 cash reward to each of the CRPF jawan. Each of the JAP-7 personnel who were part of the operation would get a cash reward of Rs 20,000. The DGP said he would also recommend their names for gallantry awards.

As many as 320 Naxalites, 280 policemen and 750 civilians have been killed in naxal incidents in Jharkhand, ever since its creation on November 15, 2000.

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