Giridih/Ranchi, Oct 27 (UNI) In a planned move, the Maoist ultras camouflaging as spectators at a function gunned down 18 people, including former Chief Minister Babulal Marandi's son Anup, and injured 13 in Chilkhari village of Jharkhand's Giridih district early today.
The injured, two of them seriously, were admitted to different hospitals in the state - mainly to Ranchi, Bokaro and Dhanbad.
The militants pumped a barrage of bullets on scores of people watching a cultural function, organised after a four-day soccer match under Deuri police station at about 1230 hrs to 1300 hrs.
No sooner had policemen, deployed for protection of the militant-dominated locality, left the spot by past mid night last night, than the 35-member militant group swooped down on the people, rendering the scene of songs and dance a melee.
'' While 17 villagers died on the spot, a woman succumbed in hospital, '' Superintendent of Police Arun Kumar said at Giridih.
The officer-in-charge was suspended.
The SP admitted security lapse on the ill-fated site despite the presence of VIPs, saying the militants were waiting for the security people to leave the venue.
The armed Naxals were first dressed in police uniform and waited there for an hour. After some time they returned camouflaged as summoners.
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