A prominent area commander of banned Naxal outfit People’s Liberation Front of India (PLFI), Jidan Guriya, carrying a cash reward of Rs 15 lakh on his head, was gunned down by district police and a CRPF Batallion-94 in an early morning encounter at Koengsar village under Murhu police station (PS) in Khunti district on Monday morning, police said.
“PLFI top commander Jidan Guriya was killed in an encounter at Koengsar village under Murhu PS in Khunti district with district police and CRPF Batallin-94 around 9.30 am this morning. An AK-47 automatic assault rifle has been recovered from near his body. The operation is still on and further details are awaited,” Ashutosh Shekhar, Khunti superintendent of police (SP), said, confirming the major blow to PLFI.
The encounter happened after the joint team of police and CRPF had gone on a search operation on a tip-off that PLFI supremo Dinesh Gope, carrying a cash reward of Rs 25 lakh, and another top PLFI ultra Martin Kerketta were moving in the jungles around Koengsar village on the Khunti-West Singhbhum district borders, police officials said. The ultras opened fire seeing the advancing forces and Jidan died in the retaliatory fire while the other extremists managed to escape into the dense forests.
This was the fourth time that PLFI supremo Dinesh Gope managed to give police the slip during the past 30 days or so. Dinesh, Jidan and Martin had managed to escape during another encounter four days ago when West Singhbhum police and CRPF Batallions 60 and 94 had succeeded in killing PLFI extremist Sonu Kumar from Nalanda district of Bihar and arrested Phoolchand Munda from Lapung in Ranchi district in the Bandu jungles in Porahat forest range in West Singhbhum district on Thursday night.
According to West Singhbhum SP Ajay Linda, three pistols, seven magazines, 49 live cartridges, four motorcycles, 27 mobile phones, 5 walkie-talkies, bags, blankets and daily usage materials have been seized from the Bandu encounter site.
Earlier, district police and CRPF had two more encounters with PLFI squads led by Dinesh Gope and Jeedan Guriya under Bandgon and Sonua PS during the last 30 days.
“Dinesh Gope, Jeedan Guriya and Martin Kerketta have been moving together in Bandu jungle and other jungles in Porahat range. At least, 15-25 ultras were there in the squad when police had the encounter with them yesterday,” police said.
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