A CRPF jawan was injured in a gunfight between security forces and Maoists in Jharkhand’s Chatra district on Sunday, police said.

The injured personnel, identified as Chitranjan Kumar, was airlifted to Ranchi for better treatment. He received bullet injuries on his leg and waist, a police officer said. He claimed four Maoists also received bullet injuries during the operation but the red rebels managed to escape the spot.

The encounter took place in Birmatkum forest in Pratappur Police Station area.

Acting on a tip-off about the presence of 15-20 Maoists of Manohar Ganjhu’s squad, a joint team of CRPF and Jharkhand Police personnel launched a combing operation in the area, during which a gun-battle with the red rebels started, Chatra Sub-divisional Police Officer (SDPO) Avinash Kumar said.

“During the exchange of fire, four Maoists, besides the CRPF jawan, were injured. Taking advantage of the thick foliage, the red rebels escaped into dense forests. The forest has been cordoned off and a search operation is underway to nab them,” he said.

Chatra Superintendent of Police Rakesh Ranjan, and CRPF 190th Battalion Commandant Manoj Kumar also reached the spot.

In another incident, a gun-battle took place between security forces and Naxalites belonging to the Jharkhand Jan Mukti Parishad (JJMP) in Latehar Town Police Station Area in the morning, another police officer said.

JJMP extremists opened indiscriminate firing on a joint team of police and CRPF’s 11th Battalion who were patrolling the area, he said.

When the security forces returned fire, the extremists escaped into dense forest, leaving behind several arms and ammunition including a bolt action rifle, the officer added.