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Top Maoist escapes, operation called off in Jharkhand

Source: PTI
July 26, 2010 15:35 IST
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The over 10-hour long encounter between the security forces and Naxals in the forests of Khunti district in Jharkhand has been called off.

The operation, involving personnel from the specialised state force for Naxal operation -- Jaguar, Central Reserve Police Force and the Special Action Force -- had begun on Sunday following intelligence inputs about the presence of top Naxal leader Kundan Pahan in the forests of Rabou village.

The operation was called off after hours of heavy exchange of fire, official sources said, adding that the turning point in the otherwise fierce encounter was the incessant rains late in the evening.

No recoveries have been made and a final assessment of any casualties on the Naxals side is yet to be made, they said.

They said Pahan, in all likelihood, seems to have escaped taking advantage of the heavy rains. He is the area commander of the Naxals and is one of the most wanted men in the state.

Palan is alleged to be the mastermind behind the beheading of Special Branch police inspector Francis Induvar last year.

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