Latehar, Oct 18: The banned Maoist Communist Centre (MCC) unleashed terror on National Highway 75 near Manika, torching houses and vehicles and engaging in an encounter with the police, about five km from the district headquarters early today.
The armed MCC cadres came in large numbers to the national highway and blocked it at about 0200 hrs and then went to the house of Suresh Yadav, a close aide of Manika MLA Ramchandra Singh(RJD).
They torched his house, a cloth shop and a vehicle.
The ultras also abducted five people and beat them up severely before releasing them.
They then reached the house of 20-point implementation vice-president Laxman Yadav's house, set it afire and damaged three vehicles.
Meanwhile, a police team, led by officer-in-charge Avadh Yadav, arrived at the spot and saved a mobile phone tower at Manika, which the utras were about to damage.
At about 0300 hrs, the rebels opened fire at the police, forcing them to retaliate. The gun battle continued for an hour.
According to police, the forces fired 50 rounds, while the MCC fired 70 rounds.
Additional forces were rushed to the spot to intensify search operations.