Senior cop among six killed in major Naxal attack in Jharkhand

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File photo of SP Amarjit Balihar

Dumka district, Jharkhand:  Six policemen, including a Superintendent of Police, have been killed in an ambush by Maoists in Dumka, Jharkhand.

The senior policeman, Amarjit Balihar, an IPS officer and SP of neighbouring Pakur, had attended a meeting in Dumka and was returning home with several constables when their vehicles were attacked while driving through a stretch of forest.

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As they have in several recent attacks, the Maoists first triggered a landmine explosion and then opened fire on the police vehicles. Mr Balihar reportedly died on the spot. His driver and three security guards were also killed. Two policemen who were injured are in hospital.

While Dumka is listed as a Maoist-affected district, Pakur, on the border with West Bengal, is not. Two companies of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) have now been rushed there.

Mr Balihar was a 2003 batch officer and had only recently been promoted and posted as Pakur SP. Mr Balihar is the second SP killed by Maoists in the region. In October 2000, before Jharkhand was carved out of Bihar, Naxals had killed the Lohardaga SP Ajay Kumar Singh.

IANS has quoted police sources as saying that the Maoists were trying to execute a big incident like the recent attack in Chhattisgarh on a convoy of cars carrying the state's top Congress leaders. 25 people, including Congress leader Mahendra Karma, who started the anti-Naxal movement, Salwa Judum, were killed in the attack.

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