Ranchi, Jan 8: The encounter between Maoists and CRPF jawans in Jharkhand's Latehar has intensified with 10 personnel killed while many injured. Reports said three jawans were missing while the number of injured was expected to go up. Indian Air Force's Mi 17 helicopters were deployed to evacuate the injured personnel.
The CRPF DG rushed to the spot to witness the situation and bring the encounter to a close. The CRPF rushed in more reinforcements but the fact that the Maoists have a strategic advantage may make it an uphill task for the CRPF.
Around 250 Maoists ambushed the CRPF men and units drawn from battalions 112 and 134 of the CRPF and state police were deployed to retaliate at the Naxalites when the attack took occurred.
Director General of Police GS Rath said ten other personnel from both the CRPF and Jharkhand Jaguar were injured in the gunbattle. The police also claimed to have killed some of the Maoists. The police suspect that the slain persons belonged to either the CPI(Maoist) or its splinter group, the Jharkhand Prastuti Committee.
Police sources said three rifles, 1,000 cartridges, cash worth Rs 5,500 and other material were recovered from the encounter spot. Rath said, the Maoists fled with the bodies of their killed colleagues.
The clash continues as the state finds itself amid a big political crisis. The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha on Monday withdrew its support from the BJP-led state government and the chief minister, Arjun Munda, submitted his resignation on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Congress general secretary in charge of Jharkhand Shakeel Ahmed said on Tuesday that the state cabinet's decision recommending dissolution of the assembly was not binding on the Governor as it was done by the Munda government after it was reduced into a minority following the pull-out of the JMM.
While the men in uniform sacrifice their lives to ensure peace, the politicians continue to fiddle with the state's stability.