Militären drar fram genom skogarna i Jharkhandh

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Forces close in on Maoists in Latehar forest

Alok K N Mishra, TNN Jul 7, 2013, 01.17PM IST

RANCHI: Two encounters between Maoists and security forces started on Saturday morning in Kumundih forest of Latehar, where security forces are on their toes to nab the mastermind of Dumka ambush Arvindji alias Nishantji and 200 other rebels. Around 50 assault groups of CoBRA, CRPF and Jharkhand Jaguar jawans are engaged in the encounters, said local sources. Police intelligence claimed some senior Maoists are ready to surrender as they are running short of arms and ammunition. Police have cut all supply lines of the rebels.

DGP Rajiv Kumar, who air-dashed to Kumundih with Jharkhand Jaguar DIG Praveen Kumar Singh and other officials on Saturday morning, is leading several assault groups and monitoring the situation at ground zero. “We are very close to nailing the culprits of the ambush. All the supply lines (to the Maoists) have already been wiped out. Encounters are going on at specific points in the jungle,” Kumar told TOI over phone from Kumundih. No casualty on the part of the Maoists has, however, been reported so far.

The exchange of fire stopped after two hours as Maoists reportedly retreated into deeper jungles. Police sources said security forces climbed 5000-feet atop Murhar hill in the afternoon where they have been hiding for the past few days. “The Maoists keep changing their base camps to evade the cops. We have They shifted from one site to another many a times in the last 48 hours,” said a source in Jharkhand Jaguar.

A police officer at the ground zero was badly panting when he informed TOI that they are up in arms against the rebels. “We have scaled the Murhar hill. Forces have reclaimed a major portion of Kumundih forest as Maoist rebels continue to retreat. A few assault groups would be stationed here,” said the officer.

Armed with automatic guns, forces are marching in the jungles of Rajgarh, Katiya, Beyang and Ranida, encircling over 50 small hills where Maoists have been reportedly cornered. The police have vowed not to leave the Kumundih forest unless they kill the Maoists or force them to surrender.

Arvindji alias Nishantji is the head of the Maoists’ organization in Jharkhand and works as the guiding force behind major strikes here. Police claim that Arvindji had masterminded the execution of Pakur SP and his teams after seven of them were killed in an encounter in Latehar in April. The rebels chose to strike back in Dumka, which was free from Maoist menace so far.

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