21.06: Pakur SP, five others killed in Jharkhand Naxal attack
A superintendent of police, known for his tough stand against Left-wing extremism, and five other policemen were killed and three others injured in an ambush by Maoists in Jharkhand's Dumka district today.
The ultras, who were lying in wait, opened fire and hurled bombs at the convoy of 45-year-old Amarjit Balihar, SP of Pakur who was returning from Dumka, state Home Secretary N N Pandey told PTI.
Balihar, an IPS officer of 2003 batch, had been commandant of Jharkhand Armed Police. He was a target of Maoists due to his tough stand against them ever since his posting at Pakur, sources said.
The driver of Balihar's vehicle was among those killed, he said, adding five policemen died on the spot and another on way to the hospital.
The Maoists fired over 150 bullets at the policemen, who did not get a chance to retaliate, DIG (Dumka) Priya Dubey said, adding the ultras also looted the weapons of the policemen.
The attack took place around 3.45 pm near Kathikund in Dumka district bordering Pakur, about 400 km from here, when they were returning after attending a meeting chaired by Dubey and attended by all the SPs of the range, Additional Director General of Police B B Pradhan said.
Earlier, police had said the incident had occurred near the forests of Amrapara in Pakur district bordering Dumka.
Besides Balihar, the dead policemen were identified as Ashok Kumar Srivastav, Chandan Kumar Thappa, Manoj Kumar Hembrom and Rajesh Kumar Sharma. The name of the sixth policeman is yet to be known, Pandey said.
Their bodies were taken to Dumka and the injured were admitted to the sadar hospital there and later referred to Dhanbad hospital, he added.
17: 35 pm: Two other injured police officials in hospital
Pakur SP Amarjit Balihar, a 2003 batch IPS officer, his driver and the guards were ambushed by the Naxals when they were returning to Pakur, after attending a meeting in Dumka, a senior official said.
The incident took place near the forests of Amrapa, nearly 400 km from capital Ranchi. The extremists exploded bombs and opened fire on the police vehicles.
Two other policemen who were injured have been admitted to hospital, Dumka Deputy Commissioner Harsh Mangala said.
The senior officer had been targeted by extremists in the past due to his tough stand against the Maoists in Pakur, which has their strong presence. (PTI)
17:00 pm: Five dead in attack, CRPF rushed to area
The Director General of Police Rajeev Kumar said that the two vehicle convoy of the Superintendent of Police was ambushed by Maoists.
"Two vehicles were ambushed in which five persons were killed including Amarjit Balihar," he told CNN-IBN.
Kumar said that he was rushing to the site of the incident himself and there was no evidence that a landmine had been used to stop the convoy.
"It was an ambush and they were fired upon," he said.
The DGP said that three companies of the Central Reserve Police Force are also being rushed to the spot.
16:50 pm: Pakur district hasn't been a hotbed for Naxal activity
There are four police station jurisdictions that are classified as Naxal affected in the Pakur district but the number of crimes committed by the insurgents is very low, according to police records.
According to police records, Pakur has witnessed just one murder due to Naxals since 2011 and has seen no incidents of murder since then.
"Naxal activities was almost unknown in this area, in the past, but since the opening of Coal Mines in mid 90’s the naxal have spread their tentacles in this area. They have a stronghold in Amarapara PS and Pakuria PS (police station) of Pakur. Their spread in the area is mainly for the extraction of levy from the coal mines," the Jharkhand Police website states.
16: 40 pm: Jharkhand's political leaders condemn attack
The state is presently under President's rule and even while negotiating the possible formation of a new state government, the state's leaders condemned the attack on the police patrol.
"This is not good for the state, we are shocked by this," Hemant Soren, the potential chief ministerial candidate from the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, said.
"Its a very sad and unfortunate incident," Shakeel Ahmed from the Congress said.
16: 20 pm: Naxals attack police convoy, kill seven
In a daring atack, a group of Naxals attacked a police convoy in Jharkhand and seven police personnel are feared to have been killed in the strike.
CNN-IBN reported that the Naxals attacked a police convoy of the Superintendent of Police of Pakur while he was travelling.
According to initial reports, the Superintendent of Police Amarjit Balihar was also killed in the attack.
Balihar was on his way back to Pakur after attending a meeting in Dumka district when the incident took place.
Six other police officials who were part of the convoy was also killed in the attack, the report stated.
Reports stated that the Maoists used a landmine to stop the convoy and then used firearms.