Ranchi: A deputy commandant of CRPF, HN Jha (7th battalion) was killed in a gun battle between police and Maoists at Jharkhand-Bihar border in Lakhari village under Khaira police station in Jamui district of Bihar on Friday morning.
Jharkhand DGP Rajiv Kumar said, “One CRPF deputy commandant has been killed but all others are safe. In subsequent operation forces have arrested two Maoists from the same area along with some arms. I have asked Giridih police (Jharkhand) to provide all necessary assistance for operation.”
A joint operation of CRPF with Jharkhand and Bihar police had started in the area on Thursday night after CRPF received hard inputs that a group of Maoists hiding in Lakhari village.
The forces continued to move through the night and encircled Lakhari village in the wee hours on Friday.
At around 5.20am when forces started a search, Jha led from the front and was moving towards a house when all of a sudden bullets were fired from inside one closed house. One bullet hit him under the nose and came out from the back of his head killing him on the spot.
Jha was stationed at Giridih (Jharkhand) where the headquarters of the 7th battalion is situated, and had left for the operation with several companies of forces on Thursday night.
A batch mate of Jha said he was a highly decorated officer and had also received DG appreciation letter. Jha hails from Dhanbad district of Jharkhand but his family is currently living in Delhi where he was posted before being transferred to Jharkhand in 2012.
A gun battle is still on despite heavy rainfall in the area.
Sources said that some Maoists have managed to escape from the village under cover fire from their aides, but a large number of them are still stranded in the village.
CRPF and both Bihar and Jharkhand police have sent reinforcements to assist the forces.
The topography of the area is extremely challenging for the forces. The entire stretch if full of forests and small hills.
Additional forces from Jharkhand Jaguar, Giridih police and CRPF personnel from Giridih have already left for the spot, said DGP Jharkhand.
A police officer said that two Maoists have sustained injuries as well. It could not, however, be confirmed.
Giridih SP Kranti Kumar said the entire border with Jamui has been put under close vigil to ensure that no Maoists manages to enter Jharkhand.
“The Maoists have been cornered from Giridih, Nawada and Jamui. Now forces are moving ahead to close-in on them,” said Rajiv Kumar.