90 kg of IEDs, 200 detonators seized in Dumka in anti-Maoist operation
In a major boost to anti-Maoist operations in Jharkhand, a large cache of explosives, including 17 improvised explosive device (IED) landmines ranging from 5kg to 10kg, was seized by Dumka police on Saturday, while 3 cadres of People’s Liberation Front of India, a Maoist faction, were killed in an encounter on Sunday morning, police said.
Sanjay Kumar Gupta, commandant, Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) said that a joint team of SSB and district police had received a tip-off about the presence of large cache of explosives in Mahuagiri forest area under Gopikander police station limits of the district.
“On Saturday we unearthed the buried Maoist dump with the help of metal detectors during the combing operations. We recovered 17 land mines, of which three were of 10kg each. The remaining weighed up to 5kg each. 200 electric detonators, 1 grenade detonating cord and other explosives were also seized,” Gupta said.
ML Meena, additional director general of police (operations), said that the unearthing of explosives was a major achievement of the security forces in the face of upcoming Lok Sabha elections. During elections, security forces in Maoist prone districts faced the biggest challenge from IEDs. “We have issued necessary directions to the forces in the Maoist affected districts to keep a strict vigil. The explosives were seized during one such anti-Maoist operation at Dumka,” he said.
He said that the seized explosives were in a “ready-to-use condition.” Dumka saw incidents of Maoist violence through IED blasts during the last LS elections, the ADG said. In the 2014 elections held at Dumka in April, an IED blast by Maoists had killed three polling officials and 5 police personnel at Shikaripada. IED explosions had killed one police personnel during the 2009 elections also.
Meanwhile at Gumla, the district police along with the 209 Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA), an elite unit of the CRPF, killed 3 Maoists and seized a large cache of arms and ammunitions.
Ashwini Kumar Sinha, Gumla superintendent of police, said that forces received a tip-off that PLFI commander Dinesh Gop was present in a particular pocket under Kamdara police station limits. During the search operations, a group of Maoists opened fire on the forces around 6 am. “Three Maoists were killed in retaliatory action. We are ascertaining their identities,” the SP said.
Police seized 2 AK-47 rifles, two .315-bore rifles, 1 foreign made pistol, 1 country made pistol, 1 desi katta, 100 rounds of cartridges of different bores, several manpacks, 50 mobile phones and several other items of daily use the SP said. He said that raids were being conducted to nab the Maoists who escaped.