Ranchi/New Delhi, Jul 15 (PTI) A 45-year-old Maoist carrying a reward of Rs 15 lakh has been killed by the security forces in the jungles of Jharkhand's Gumla district on Thursday, officials said.
Budeshwar Oraon alias Lulha was neutralised after a 'fierce encounter' between an armed naxal squad and the security forces led by the 209th battalion of the CoBRA, they said.
The Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) is a special jungle warfare unit of the CRPF.
The encounter took place in the jungles of Krurmgarh in Gumla district of the state, about 92 km from the state capital Ranchi.
An AK-47 rifle was also recovered with the body of Oraon, they said.
'The killed Maoist had been charge-sheeted or named in at least 53 criminal offences, including 20 murders and more than a dozen cases of attempt to murder.
'He was carrying a reward of Rs 15 lakh which was declared for his apprehension by the state government,' a senior Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) officer said in the national capital.
Jharkhand police spokesperson and Inspector General of Police A V Homkar said that the police was carrying an operation in the dense forests of Gumla district where extremists had laid improvised expolsive devices.
'Forces (Cobra, CRPF, Jharkhand Jaguar and Gumla Police are conducting operations in Kurumgarh police station area covered with dense forests and hills. IED trap has been laid by naxalites in this area and the security forces and villagers have been targeted,' he said.
On July 14 CRPF sniffer dog Drone died in IED blast while its handler Vishwajeet Kumbkar has been seriously injured.
In another blast a villager Ramdev Munda was seriously injured and later died.
'In the course of the campaign, on the morning of 15.07.2021, the naxalites opened fire on the expedition team with the intention of killing and causing damage, which was given a befitting reply by the security forces involved in the campaign.
'In this encounter, 01 (one) uniformed militant was killed and 01 AK 47 rifle, 02 magazines (AK 47's), a large number of cartridges IED. Detonator magazines, mobile phones, Naxalite literature, pits, medicines and other items of daily consumption were recovered,' Homkar said.
He added that after the enconter the naxalites tried to kill the members of the expedition team again and later escaped by taking advantage of the dense forests and hills.
A search operation is being conducted in the direction of the escape of the naxalites.
The IEDs found from the spot are being defused by the Bomb Disposal Squad, he added.
So far IEDs installed in forest and hilly areas by Buddheshwar Oraon's squad has claimed lives of five villagers while 14 others have been seriously injured, the police said.
Police in a statement said a total of 81 cases have been lodged against Oraon in Gumla, 16 in Simdega, 4 in Lohardaga, 6 in Latehar and 2 in Garhwa and added that he was wanted in a total of 109 cases like murder, attempt to murder, dacoity, robbery, extortion, arson, attack on police party etc.
A CRPF sniffer dog - Drone- had died on Tuesday in an improvised explosive blast triggered by maoists at Marwa forests in Gumla district while his handler Vishwajeet Kumbkar was injured.
Drone, however, did not die in vain, as the blast he triggered while searching for explosives saved the lives of the crack CoBRA commandos with whom he was serving.
The sniffer dog has in the past too saved a whole team of CoBRA commandos of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) from a similar bomb attack by sniffing out explosives, Drone had participated in 83 operations in almost all parts of Jharkhand state. One of his great achievements was on April 7, 2016 in Parasnath area where he found four containers of 40 kgs explosive each.
The dog was part of the ongoing anti-naxalite operation in Gumla. PTI NAM NES TDS SNS SNS