Garhwa (Jharkhand): In what appeared to be a change in strategy, the Maoists reportedly made a village head call up the police to solve a local dispute for executing their plan in killing the 13 policemen in Bariganwa forest area in the district, according to intelligence reports.

The reports said, Bargarh village Mukhia (village head) Ramdas Minz had called up the Bhandaria Block Development Officer Basudeo Prasad on Saturday and requested him to visit the village, about 22 km from the ambush spot, to sort out a dispute that forced a road shutdown by a section of locals.

The BDO narrowly escaped as his vehicle drove past the area before the landmine blast that claimed the lives of 13 policemen.

"We can't rule out. We have not yet located him (village head). We have launched anti-Maoist operation in the Bariganwa forests," Superindent of Police, Garhwa, Michael S Raj said when asked whether the police suspected Minz following Saturday’s trap laid by the rebels.

Minz recently came out of jail after getting a bail in connection with a case. Intelligence sources said usually the Maoists' strategy was to call the police on the pretext of naxal movement in a certain area and then they ambush the security personnel. But police soon got aware of such traps.

The security forces often use a different route to return from the visited spots, but on Saturday the Maoists attacked them while the police party was heading to the assigned place.

Garhwa Deputy Commissioner R P Sinha had said on Saturday that the BDO and the police party were going to Bargarh to convince the locals to call off their blockade after they got the information.

(Agencies)