Garhwa District In Jharkhand

Maoists Up Their Ante In Jharkhand To Show Who The Real Boss Is

Ever since the death of senior Maoists leader, Kishen Ji, couple of months ago in neighbouring West Bengal state, the Maoists in Jharkhand have upped their ante, showcasing their might.

Last month, Manoharpur M.L.A. Guru Charan of BJP was attacked by Maoists when he was visiting Harta and Khantangbera Village, in Anandpur Block in Singhbhum West to take part in public meets with the rural population. It was said that Maoists did not like the fact that the elected representative was taking perhaps a tad too interest in rural areas of his assembly constituency.

In December, soon after the Jangalmahal encounter, 11 security personnel were killed in a blast that targeted the cavalcade of Lok Sabha M.P. Inder Singh Namdhari (Independent) in Latehar.

Not very far off from Latehar, but in the other corner of Jharkhand, in Garhwa District, last month Maoists triggered a land mine blast to blow up an armoured vehicle that killed 13 police personnel.

What happened in Garhwa District?

The Maoists’ attack took place in the forest of Garhwa district’s Lalmatia village, situated 275 km from Ranchi on the borders of Chattishgarh. Sharing borders with Chattishgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand’s Garhwa district has served as a safe corridor for the Maoist rebels. The Blast threw Jharkhand Police’s anti-land-mine Armoured vehicle about 25 feet up in the air, when the vehicle hit the ground it was damaged beyond the recognition, badly hurting and killing people who were travelling inside the vehicle.

Garhwa District In Jharkhand
Garhwa District In Jharkhand (In Red)

Two important points can be gleamed from the incident:

  • One, Maoists has access to the technology to plant explosives beneath smooth metal roads without disturbing the surface, thereby escaping attention and suspects.
  • Two, anti-land-mine armoured vehicle used by the Jharkhand police personnel is not good enough to save the lives of its passengers, when attacked by land-mine-blasts.

According to the eyewitness, this land-mine blast was very powerful; it tossed the armoured vehicle high into the air. . In fact the local people said that the blast was so powerful that the sound of explosion echoed even in nearby Bhandaria village, which mind you, is 4 km away. When the mangled vehicle landed on the ground, some of the injured policemen tried to come out of it, but the Maoists sprayed them with the bullets from a close range.

After the blast, the vehicle was set on fire. Executing their planned attack successfully, the rebels burnt alive two of the injured policemen, sub-inspector Rajbali Choudhary and driver of the anti-landmine vehicle, Sunil Tiwari. According to the eyewitness accounts, after the blast, the badly injured duo tried their best to keep away the mob of 50-odd rebels. But while doing so, they exhausted all their ammunition, this allowed the Maoists to come closer and kill them ruthlessly.

Holding the press-briefing, the Jharkhand State police spokesperson R K Mullick told, “Total 15 security personnel, 13 of them belonging to Jharkhand Armed Police (JAP) battalion and 2 of them district police were travelling in the anti-landmine vehicle escorting the BDO to Bhangaria village to resolve a dispute among villagers over setting up a health centre. On their way, they were attacked by the Maoists forces.”

The time-line of the Maoist attack is as under:

06.00 A.M. Villagers blocked road at Bargarh in Bhandaria demanding relocation of Primary Health Centre
10.00 A.M. Police informed BDO about blockade by group of villagers
11.00 A.M. BDO left Bhandaria for Bargarh to resolve the matter
11.15 A.M. Maoist triggered blast moments after BDO passed through Lalmatia, they blew up anti-landmine Armoured vehicle which was escorting him, encounter with security forces followed, but the police-personnel were greatly outnumbered

Police sources said the rebels took away all their weapons and set fire to the vehicle. As many as 50-60 armed Maoists were involved in the guerrilla style attack that lasted for nearly 30 minutes. The Maoists’ attack occurred somewhere between Bhandaria and Bargarh village, that is completely surrounded by the thick Sal tree forest, providing the Maoists with a good cover.

BDO escaped unhurt, as his vehicle had crossed the spot minutes before the blast.

By the time reinforcements reached the spot, only two among the team of 15 were found alive.

Earlier, Maoist did spare head constable Sujit Kumar Yadav after they learnt that he belong to a Yadav community, a community that has given many comrades to the Maoists in their on-going war with the Government. As the badly injured head constable Yadav withered in pain, the Maoists administered him a pain killer injection before escaping from the scene.

Maoists also took away AK-47, 11 Inlas rifles and one SLR.

Garhwa D.C. said, “This is a remote place, about 70 km from the district headquarters, is a known rebel hub. Earlier also a deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) was killed in a nearby area.

The police suspected that the squad, led by central committee member Arvind, was behind the attack. He has been active in the area for quite a long time now. According to the Police intelligence, Prashant Bose leads Maoists in Saranda region; Kishaan Da in Jhumra and Bokaro regions; and Arvind’s writs run large in Palamu and Garhwa region.

After the incident, the Maoist kept local newsmen in captivity for 2 hours during which they held a press conference. They said Police should stop Operation Green Hunt and refrain from killing revolutionary leaders in fake encounters.

On the other hand, fearing backlash from both the forces, the villagers of Bhandaria and nearby villages have apparently abandoned their homes and fled to Chattishgarh.

In Jharkhand, that is the sad reality of the on-going fight between Maoists and Police.

Number of police personnel killed so far in various Maoist Attacks in Jharkhand:

Year

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

Deaths

53

59

16

41

27

43

Year

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

Deaths

08

40

40

27

30

13

It is said that all these attacks were undertaken to show who the real bosses of Jharkhand’s interior and rural areas are. As all these attack also help them gain psychological advantage over the common people, security personnel and even our elected representatives. Fear is key to rule the vast swathes of Jharkhand.

Team Focus

Team Focus

We are bunch of commoners and our bloggers' e-magazine focuses on the AlterNative Voices from Jharkhand, India.
Team Focus
Team Focus

Written by

We are bunch of commoners and our bloggers' e-magazine focuses on the AlterNative Voices from Jharkhand, India.

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