Maoist regional commander killed in Jharkhand

A top Maoist leader, carrying a Rs.17 lakh reward on his head, was killed in a gun battle with policemen in Jharkhand's Chatra district Friday, police said.

"Ajay Ganju alias Parasji, regional commander of the banned CPI-Maoist, was killed in the gun battle Friday. He was wanted in more than 40 cases, including murders in Bihar and Jharkhand," a police spokesperson told IANS.

State police and the CRPF had launched intensive combing operations in the Kunda forest of Chatra district, which is around 180 km from Ranchi. In the ensuing gun battle, Ganju was killed. Police seized two hand grenades and one pistol from the dead Maoist leader.

The central government had announced a Rs.10 lakh reward on Ganju's head while the Jharkhand government had put a Rs.7 lakh reward.

Maoist guerrillas are active in 18 of the 24 districts of Jharkhand.

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