Ranchi, Mar 28: An aide of a top-ranking Maoist leader who booby-trapped the bodies of dead CRPF jawans after the encounter at Latehar in Jan 2013 was among the ten ultras killed in a gunfight between rival groups of Maoists in Chatra district on Wednesday night.
Jharkhand Police said that members of CPI (Maoist) fought a pitched battle with cadres owing allegiance to the Tritiya Prastuti Committee (TPC) in Lakramanda. The village, located around 100 kms from here, is within the jurisdiction of the Kunda police.
The Press Trust of India quoted Manoj Kumar, Deputy Commissioner of Police in Chatra, as saying: "Bodies of 10 Maoists were recovered near Lakramanda village. They were killed during an encounter with the TPC last night."
The TPC was formed by the ultras who broke away from the CPI (Maoist) supposedly due to some ideological differences. However, the Maoists have accused them of receiving support from the state police and also the local administration.
Superintendent of Police Anup Birtheray went to the village on receiving information. He told newspersons that the gunbattle between the two groups continued till the wee hours of Thursday.
"As personnel of the COBRA battalion and district police had reached the area, the rebels could not take away the bodies. Six weapons were also found from the spot," the SP revealed.
Director General of Police Rajeev Kumar confirmed that an AK-47 rifle and three .303 rifles besides ammunition have been recovered from the village. He noted that the TPC cadres had managed to kill four senior ultras belonging to the CPI (Maoist) including Lalesh, the right hand man of Arvind. The latter had planted a 1.5 kg bomb inside the abdomen of a CRPF jawan Baijnath Kisku soon after the Latehar encounter.
Maoist leaders Prafull Yadav and Dharmendra Yadav were among those killed in the gunfight at Lakramanda, Rajeev Kumar said.