Ranchi, Feb.1: Security personnel killed a Maoist guerrilla today evening in the course of a four-hour sporadic gun battle at Hurwa forest in Khunti, 35km from district headquarters, as well as recovered the body, arms and ammunition.
Around 2.30pm, District Armed Police and CRPF (94th battalion) raided Hurwa forest in Arki police station area near tribal icon Birsa Munda's birthplace based on a tip-off about the presence of around 12 armed rebels. However, the cat-and-mouse encounter between jawans and Maoists took place over 30 minutes later, when the rebels, moving towards Tamar, opened fire. Hardly one hour into the combat, a Maoist was shot dead while others managed to flee.
Khunti superintendent of police M. Tamilvanan confirmed that the body of a rebel and his rifle were recovered once the encounter ended around 7pm.
"The rebel has been identified as 24-year-old Binda Pahan, who was wanted in two cases. As many as 15 rounds of ammunition have also been recovered," he said.
Sources said the rebel was carrying a 303 rifle.
The SP added that it was after a long time that the jawans managed to recover the body of a Maoist.
"Most often, Maoists manage to drag the bodies and ammunition, leaving no clue behind. That's why this is a big success for the morale of security forces," he said.
A local resident, who refused to be named, said Binda was the resident of Labed village in Arki and a noted guerrilla of his squad.
The site of today's encounter was close to Tamar border area in Ranchi district from where security personnel recovered 314kg of explosives yesterday.