Four suspected Maoists were killed in a gunfight with security forces near the India-Nepal border in Bihar’s West Champaran district on Friday, PTI reported.
Sashastra Seema Bal Inspector General in Patna Sanjay Kumar told the news agency that one security personnel was injured in the gunfight that took place early morning. “We had received specific information about a group of Maoists hiding at the forest surrounding the Valmiki Tiger Reserve,” he said. “Accordingly, an operation was planned taking in the loop the police station concerned, Lokeria in Bagaha.”
Kumar added that the man leading the suspected Maoists, identified as Babu Sahni, fled the scene, while his deputy and three others were killed in the gunfight. Kumar said that security forces have launched an operation to find him.
Security forces also recovered weapons from the spot of the gunfight. “The recoveries include an AK-56 rifle, three SLRs and a .303 rifle,” Kumar said.
An unidentified Special Task Force official told the The Times of India that Sahni was linked to the Uttar Bihar Special Area Committee of the Communist Party of India (Maoist). He added that the operation was a major success for security forces in Bihar ahead of the Assembly elections.
A Sashastra Seema Bal official, meanwhile, told the newspaper that the gunfight between suspected Maoists and security forces was the first in the region in over a decade. “North Bihar had become completely free from Maoist menace,” the unidentified official was quoted as saying by the newspaper. “But in the last two to three years, they were attempting to re-establish themselves and the jungles of VTR [Valmiki Tiger Reserve] were the most suitable place for them.