A Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) jawan was killed and four other security personnel were injured after Maoists opened fire on security forces in Kathalia area of Dumka district on early Sunday morning.
The slain jawan, Niraj Chhetri was from Assam. Two constables, Rajesh Kumar Rai and Karan Kumar, received serious injuries.
They were airlifted to Ranchi, and admitted to the Medica Hospital. Police constables Satish Gujar and Sonu Kumar, the other two injured, were admitted to a government hospital in Dumka, he said.
YS Ramesh , Dumka superintendent of police, said forces had received a tip that a Maoist squad was camping in the area between Shikaripara and Ranishwar police station limits. When a team of SSB and state police was conducting a joint operation, Maoists suddenly opened fire.
The security forces retaliated, and around five Maoists were shot at. However, the Maoists had retreated in the forests by then. Search operations were being conducted in the area, the SP said. SSB commandant, Sanjay Kumar Gupta said till late evening, forces were continuing search operations in the area. Efforts were on to nab the Maoists. But no arrest or seizure has been made yet.
Hospital authorities said Rai had received injuries in both the thighs. A surgery was conducted, following which his condition was stable. Karan had received injuries in the upper limbs and head, and doctors were going to operate on him on Monday. He is also said to be out of danger.
Around afternoon, the body of Chhetri was brought to the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences in Ranchi. Urban development minister CP Singh, along with SSB senior officers, police and state administration paid homage to him in Angara.
His body will be sent to Assam on Monday.
This is the second Maoist attack in the state within a week. On May 28, at least 26 security personnel of central police force and state police were injured after Maoists triggered a series of improvised explosive device blasts in Rai Sindri Hills under Kuchai police station limits of Sarikela-Kharsawan district.
On May 20, three Jharkhand Police personnel were airlifted to Ranchi after they were injured in an attack by Maoist squad led by sub-zonal commander Maharaj Pramanik, near Hudungada village in Seraikela-Kharsawan district.
On May 3, Maoist blew up the election office of BJP candidate from Khunti, Arjun Munda, on Kuchai Road, barely 200 metres from Kharsawan police station.