17 people killed in Maoist attack in Jharkhand


Ranchi : At least 17 people, including the son of former chief minister Babulal Marandi, were killed while four others sustained injuries in a Maoist attack in Giridih district of Jharkhand early Saturday, police officials said.

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The incident took place in Chilkhari village of Giridih district, about 290 km from Ranchi.

According to the police, Around 30 to 40 rebels of the outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) attacked Chilkhari at around 1 a.m. Saturday while the villagers were engrossed in watching a cultural programme organised by Nunulal Marandi, the brother of Babulal Marandi.

The former chief minister was also expected to attend the programme but wasn’t able to do so. However, his younger son Anup attended the event and was killed along with 16 others when Maoist guerrillas fired indiscriminately at the gathering.

Arun Kumar Singh, the superintendent of police of Giridih district, said: “Seventeen people were killed while four others, including two women, were injured in the Maoist attack.”

Babulal Marandi said: “My family has been the target of Maoist rebels for a long time as we have been fighting against them and organizing villagers to rebel against them.”

The police have launched a combing operation in the area to nab the Maoists. This has been the biggest civilian killing in the state since it was carved out from Bihar in November 2000.

Maoist rebels are active in 18 of the 24 districts of the state. Nearly 950 people, including 310 security personnel, have been killed in Jharkhand in Maoist related violence.