Speaking to FE on Tuesday, DIG South Chhottanagpur RK Mallick said following the announcement of the 48-hour bandh, the police had put in place a convoy for excorting vehicles plying on the highways of the state. But the truck drivers ignored the advice of a hotel owner to take the police escort. The Maoists stopped the trucks one-by-one and set them ablaze.
An armed police patrol which had reached the spot soon thereafter was fired upon heavily by the Maoists, the DIG said. In the exchange of fire, the driver of the patrol vehicle was hit by a bullet in his neck while another policeman too suffered a bullet injury. This led the patrol team retreat the spot, said Mallick. Both the police personnel have been admitted to the Tata Main Hospital (TMH) here. The two policemen were out of danger.
The 48-hour bandh, which ends on Tuesday midnight, in West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Orissa and Jharkhand has so far seen the blowing up of a railway track in Latehar and that of a mobile tower in the neighbouring Palamu district.
State-run PSUs such as Tenughat Vidyut Nigam Ltd (TVNL) has been hit by coal shortage at its generating units in Lalpania. It has cut its generation by around 50%, from the normal 370 mw to around 180mw.
TVNL sources said the situation could get worse from Wednesday as its emergency coal stock was completely exhausted.