Jharkhand police use helicopter gunship to take on Maoists



Ranchi: Police in Ranchi used a helicopter gunship to flush out Maoists, eliminating two, on Friday.

The paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force was involved in a joint operation with state police named 'Jharkhand Jaguar' which took place around here.

The security forces fired 500 rounds of bullets and also lobbed grenades in the encounter that lasted for almost one-and-a-half hour.

Two Maoists were killed in the operation.

A huge cache of arms and ammunition including 200 kilograms of lethal explosives, equal amount of ammonium nitrate, 100 detonators and 30 kilograms of can bombs were recovered.

Praveen Kumar, Superintendent of Police, Ranchi, said more operations using helicopters would be mounted in the area to nab the rebels.

"We used the helicopter gunship we had sent one team via helicopter while the encounter was going on and I visited this area via a helicopter because we have to carry out next operation in the same area," Kumar said.

Maoists have stepped up violence across eastern and central India. They have attacked schools and police stations, and used landmines and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) to disrupt infrastructure development projects.

The main objective of the Maoists is to prevent the development of infrastructure in remote areas, which so far has remained their exclusive domain.

Thousands have been killed by Maoists in the recent past. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has described the Maoist threat one of the gravest homegrown threats to India's internal security.

The rebels claim they are fighting for the rights of poor farmers and landless labourers.

ANI