India: Maoist action frees Political Prisoners

Maoists ambush Jharkhand jail van, kill 4 and free eight comrades

, TNN | Nov 10, 2012

Maoists ambush Jharkhand jail van, kill 4 and free eight comrades
About 100 Maoists ambushed a police van carrying 32 prisoners from Giridih court to the divisional jail on Friday. They freed eight of their comrades and three cops and one prisoner were killed in the attack.
DHANBAD: In a carefully-planned and deftly executed operation, about 100 Maoists, including armed women, ambushed a police van carrying 32 prisoners from Giridih court to the divisional jail on Friday. They freed eight of their comrades and three cops and one prisoner were killed in the attack during which more than two dozen ordinary prisoners escaped.District SP Amol V Honkar said among those who escaped were two Maoists arrested for the Chilkhari massacre in 2009, when 20 people, including son of the former chief minister Babulal Marandi, were killed by the Maoists during a cultural programme.On Friday, the attackers first blocked the crowded Giridih-Tundi road near the jail and then chucked bombs at a truck that was just ahead of the prison van. The Maoists then hurled bombs at the van and started firing from AK-47s and SLRs.

The three policemen killed in the attack were identified as assistant sub-inspector Prabhunath Singh, havildar Rajkumar Das and constable Sadanand Gagrai.

Giridih police confirmed the Maoists had looted three rifles from the police escorts. Late in the evening, police claimed that they arrested two rebels from Bengabad for involvement in the attack.

The handcuffs for the prisoners were found hanging at the gate of the vehicle indicating prisoners had got themselves freed during the attack. Police reinforcements rushed to the spot from the district headquarters and found some explosives on the road.

Mohammad Saleh, a witness, claimed the Maoists had assembled at Mahadev Chauk near Dukhiya Mahadev temple well in advance and attacked the truck to block the police van.

The Maoists snatched four motorcycles from the locals to escape with the prisoners. One of the motorcycle owners, Rajendra Tanti, said he had gone to relieve himself on the roadside when the rebels struck. He claimed the Naxalites used AK-47s and SLRs to attack the van. Witnesses told police that the Maoists had also used two SUVs vehicles.

This was the second Maoist attack in Giridih town. In 2005, Maoists attacked the Mohanpur police camp, killing 10 cops and looting 400 rifles.

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