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Stabbed, jawan fights 4 armed Maoists bare-handed, makes them flee

Author: Soumitra Bose TNN
Publication: The Times of India
Date: March 6, 2018
URL:      https://m.timesofindia.com/india/stabbed-jawan-fights-4-armed-maoists-bare-handed-makes-them-flee/amp_articleshow/63180667.cms?__twitter_impression=true

C-60 commando police naik 33-year-old Gomji Mattami, posted at Gadchiroli headquarters, has taken part in as many as encounters as his age while serving in the district police since 2006. On Sunday, he proved that even bare-handed and with a stab wound in the chest, he could get the better of four Maoists at Jambia Gatta in Etapalli taluka in Gadchiroli.

Mattami’s heroics, now being lauded across the police department, can fetch him a gallantry award next year as he not only managed to wrest back his AK-47 rifle and three magazines while blood was oozing out from his chest but also made the red guerrillas flee leaving behind the firearm and 10 live cartridges. In the injured condition too, Mattami did not rest at winning back his AK-47 but kept chasing the fleeing Maoists with a restrained firing in the busy market. The Maoists belonged to an action team that, following their regular practice, had likely targeted a solitary cop to take away his gun and ammunition in a lightning attack.

It would be almost impossible to believe seeing a cheerful Mattami at the Orange City Hospital and Research Institute (OCHRI) that he has just escaped a near certain death. Had a pistol of one of his attackers not developed a snag while being pointed towards Mattami from close range, the story would have been different. An ‘Action team’ of Maoists, comprising four operatives in plain clothes, had surrounded Mattami when he was returning to Jambia Gatta police post after bandobast at the weekly market was called off. While rest of the squad had walked ahead, Mattami stopped to speak to a classmate in the market.

Mattami recalled his left hand, that he had put in his pocket, was grabbed from behind. “I was pinned down on the ground before could realize Maoists were attacking me. Four of them had surrounded me,” he said. “One of them pulled out a pistol pointing at me and pulled the trigger. It failed to fire. It was all happening in a flash,” said Mattam, a native of Madska village around 8 kms from the spot of the incident. “At this point, I was trying to free myself while keeping a hold on my weapon and magazines. I knew their intention was to gun me down before fleeing with my weapon. I kicked the man with the gun which fell off his hand,” he said. “Suddenly one of them stabbed me in the chest with a dagger. The pain loosened my grip over my weapon (AK 47) which he managed to snatch and flee. I got up and began to run after them aiming not to allow them to run away with my weapon,” he said.

“I pounced upon the one who had my AK and snatched it back after grappling with him. I then fired at them but had to be cautious with so many people around,” he said.

Mattami’s vitals are stable as of now.
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