Ranchi, Oct. 28: A joint police team of Lohardaga and Latehar today claimed to have shot dead three CPI(Maoist) rebels after a fierce gun battle.
Police jawans of Lohar-daga and Latehar had launched a joint combing operation after being tipped off about movements of a band of armed rebels in the jungle area.
The rebels were retrea- ting to their base after killing four cadres of Tritya Prastuti Committee (TPC) — a breakaway faction of the CPI(Maoist) — at Hoda village in Latehar district late last night.
The Maoists had nabbed the four TPC cadres and brought them to Hoda village where they were brutally beaten up before being shot from close range.
The Latehar police reached the spot and seized the bodies and also launched a combing operation with Lohardaga police.
"The police party stumbled upon the rebels near Bijubaithan hamlet in Lohar-daga this morning. There was a fierce gun battle where the police were able to kill three Maoist rebels," said state police spokesperson and DIG (personnel), R.K. Mallick.
The team also claimed to have recovered one self-loading rifle, one carbine and two rifles from the spot.
Raids are continuing to trace other members of the rebel group.
After yesterday's massacre in Giridih, in which the youngest son of former chief minister of Jharkhand Babulal Marandi and 18 other were killed, DGP V.D.
Ram had directed the superintendent of police of all the Naxalite affected districts to remain vigilant of the rebel menace.
The district police of Hazaribagh and East Singhbhum are conducting raids in their respective districts to flush out the rebels from their hideouts.
Police officials said that the Giridih police of the state and Jamui police of Bihar were still conducting raids to nab the ultras involved in gunning down the 18 villagers at Giridih.
"The two teams have been able to zero in on the locations where the rebels have taken shelter. We are ex- pecting some results from that on-going raids soon," said a senior state police official.