A villager was killed in Jharkhand’s Ghagra village in Khunti district on Wednesday as police launched a search operation to rescue three policemen who were abducted on Tuesday, reported The Hindu.

South Chhotanagpur Inspector General of Police Naveen Kumar Singh told The Indian Express that an unidentified man targeted the security forces with bow and arrows. “When our men charged him in retaliation, he began running away and seemed to have sustained injuries during a fall,” Singh said, adding that he was taken to a hospital in Ranchi. The man died of his injuries.

On June 26, three policemen guarding the house of Bharatiya Janata Party MP Kariya Munda in Ghagra village were abducted by Pathalgadi supporters hours after a raid on Udbhuru village to arrest two men accused of abducting and raping five women working with a non-governmental organisation. Yusuf Purty and John Jonas Tidu escaped as over 2,000 villagers tried to stop the police contingent from entering the village.

On Wednesday, forces from Bokaro, Simdega, Chaibasa and other districts were brought in along with companies of Rapid Action Force and Sashastra Seema Bal companies. Police fired tear gas shells and baton-charged a mob that was obstructing their operation. Several villagers were detained and then let-off after questioning.

Singh said that the abduction of the policemen seemed like an attempt at a trade-off. “The police took action against Pathalgadi supporters after we had information about two of them being involved in the Khunti gangrape incident,” Singh said. “We are ready to talk to anybody. But we have to deal with people, who are insistent on taking the law into their hands,” he said.

A group of men allegedly raped five women working with a non-governmental organisation in Jharkhand on June 19. The women had gone to Chochang village to spread awareness on migration and human trafficking when the incident took place. The Jharkhand Police on June 23 arrested two people in connection with the case.