Zee Media Bureau
Ranchi: While the Jharkhand Police tries to identify the lapses that led to the shocking cold-blooded killing of Pakur SP Amarjeet Balihar by Maoists, reports on Thursday claimed that the top cop had not heeded to an alert to remain extra vigilant.
As per a report in an English daily, the police headquarters had issued an alert to all police superintendents to remain extra vigilant in view of the ongoing operation against the Maoists in the Palamu and Latehar.
Balihar was ambushed by the Maoists in Damini forests, Dumka district of Jharkhand, 450 km northeast of Ranchi, on Tuesday afternoon. He was returning to Pakur from Dumka, the divisional headquarter, after a meeting with deputy inspector general of police Priya Dubey.
Despite the alert, Balihar had chosen to travel with a lean force, comprising mostly his guards and an escort team.
The Maoists had laid a trap near a bridge on the unpaved road. When Balihar’s convoy slowed down, round 40 to 50 guerrillas who were hiding in the nearby bushes started indiscriminate firing.
As per reports, Balihar was asked by the ultras to come out of his vehicle. He was then told to call up the police department and inform them about the encounter; they later killed him in cold blood.
Four other policemen were killed along with the SP. Four others were injured.
The terrain was so bad that it took almost two hours for the first police team to reach the spot.
The Maoists had been trying to execute a major operation in Jharkhand like the one in Chhattisgarh in which many Congress leaders were killed. They are reportedly frustrated as they have been booted out of the Saranda forest area and eight of them were killed in Latehar district last week.
This is not the first time such a high-ranking official has been killed by the insurgents.
In 2000, just before Jharkhand was carved out of Bihar, Lohardagga`s Superintendent of Police Ajay Kumar was killed by the Maoists.
The Communist Party of India-Maoist is active in 18 of Jharkhand`s 24 districts.
Meanwhile, the family of slain SP Balihar has blamed the government for the death of the brave police officer and questioned the intelligence failure in the case.
Balihar’s body has been brought to Ranchi and his mortal remains would be cremated today with full state honours.