The jawan received bullet injury in his head and died on the spot. Later, during combing operation, the police recovered the body of a Maoist squad member from the forest.
Six companies of security forces including CoBRA and The CRPF conducted combing operations yesterday at midnight, after receiving a tip-off that a Maoist squad led by Sasadhar Mahato was camping there. According to the Jhargram police, the Maoists first opened fire on the security forces, who then retaliated.
Mahato — brother of PCAPA leader Chhatradhar Mahato — was also named in the Jnaneswari train carnage case by the CBI. He had been operating in the Lagarh-Binpur area at for five-six years, said police.
The exchange of fire continued till early morning, said Pravin Tripathy, Superintendent of Police, Jhargram. Tripathy said that the squad led by Mahato had taken shelter inside the forest. There were at least 15-20 armed Maoists in the squad, he added. The Maoists, however, escaped from the area. The forest is located between Binpur and Lalgarh. Recently, the Maoist groups have been operating from these areas, said an officer.