Over 50 heavily armed Maoists were forced to flee to Jharkhand after a gun battle with a joint team of CRPF-police personnel in the forests of Nawada district of Bihar, around 140 km from the state capital today.

A senior police official said the encounter took place in Budha Pahad jungle near Lavadih village after the Maoists shot at a villager and abducted two others, including a woman.

Security forces reacted promptly on getting the information and reached the place.

"The injured person, identified as Kukku Mochi, was shot on his waist. He has been admitted to Sadar Hospital here. The two abducted persons were released by the Maoists as the activists were fleeing towards the neighbouring state," Superintendent of Police Parvez Akhtar said.

"The Maoists fled from the area in the direction of Satgama forests in Koderma district of the neighbouring state, while the security forces were trying to surround them. We have already alerted our counterparts there," Akhtar added.

The three-hour-long encounter started in the morning. A self-loading rifle used by Maoists has been recovered from the area.

The Maoists had shot Mochi and abducted two others while several villagers were collecting firewood in the forest area.

The extremists had banned the entry of villagers in the forests since June 20 as they were holding their sub-zonal meeting in the Budha Pahad forest area.