A senior officer of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) was killed in a gunbattle with Naxals in Bihar’s Jamui. Hira Kumar Jha, the second-in-command of CRPF base in Jamui, died in the anti-Naxal operation that took place in the Lakharia forest region.
Apart from the CRPF, Bihar and Jharkhand police were also involved in the operation.
The wife of one of the top Naxal leaders have been arrested while a suspected Maoist was shot dead in the operation.
According to the police, Mr. Jha got a tip-off at around 4 am that the Maoists were camping in the forests.
“Jha formed a team of CRPF jawans and led them to the forest. They came across the Maoists and an encounter ensued. He was hit by bullets and died on the spot. The battle continued for over two hours,” Additional SP R N Tiwary said.
Mr. Tiwary said CRPF personnel from other camps had been dispatched to the place of the incident, which is around 32 km from the Khaira police station and lies close to Jamui’s border with Jharkhand.
“His body has been recovered by the CRPF personnel and it is being brought to the police station,” he said.
CRPF Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Chiranjeev Prasad said senior officials had rushed to Jamui to take stock of the situation and intensive combing operation had been launched in areas surrounding the place of incident.
“As per our reports, the encounter began at around 5 am when Jha led our forces inside the jungle. A few Maoists also seem to have been killed and injured in the incident. The place has been surrounded and our additional troops are reaching there,” Prasad said.
Jamui, bordering Jharkhand, is considered a hotbed of Maoists in Bihar with other districts like Gaya, Aurangabad, Munger and Lakhisarai.