PATNA: The Maoists attacked a railway station in Bihar’s Munger district and torched the signalling systems late Tuesday night, disrupting train services in Bihar and neighbouring Jharkhand for several hours. They also abducted two railway employees who were, however, released on Wednesday after nearly 16 hours in captivity.
The CPI(Maoist) cadres also killed the deputy head of gram panchayat, Virendra Koda, in Lakhisarai district.
The attack on Masudan railway station on Jamalpur-Kiul rail section and the killing were part of the 48-hour shutdown called by the Maoists in the two states against the police crackdown.
Nearly 25 armed Maoists, including at least 10 women cadres, perpetrated the attack on the railway station, said GRP sources.
“Assistant station master Mukesh Paswan and porter Narendra Mandal at Masudan were held captive and taken away to some undisclosed location at about 11:30 pm. The panic-stricken ASM called the Malda DRM to inform that the Maoists had threatened to kill them if the movement of trains continued,” said a railway official.
After the state police and CRPF launched a joint search operation led by IG (Operations) Kundan Krishnan and IG (Railway) Amit Kumar, the Maoists released the two men in a hilly area at Jamalpur, said sources.
Lakhiserai SP Arvind Thakur confirmed that Paswan and Mandal were “recovered safely”.
In Jharkhand, two Maoists are believed to have been severely injured during an encounter with the police in the Marabar jungles of Latehar district’s Manika block on Wednesday.
A combing operation was started to trace and arrest the Maoists hiding in the jungles, said a police officer. The Maoists also blew up a mobile phone tower in Giridih district in the state.
Two Maoist cadres, Rabindra Yadav and Akhilesh Das, were arrested during a search operation in Bihar’s Jehanabad district on Wednesday, police said.
Earlier, CPI(Maoist) leader Lalan Sada had been arrested in Begusarai district of Bihar on Monday while the Maoists had hacked to death two night guards of Kundaghat reservoir project in Jamui district on Tuesday.
Movement of trains on Kiul-Jamalpur section under the Malda division of Eastern Railways disrupted
Train movement restored after the fire was doused, but had to be suspended again, reportedly after the Maoists called up the Malda control room threatening to kill the captives if traffic wasn’t halted
Some trains were diverted to alternative routes via Jhajha and Barauni, while a few others short terminated. Train traffic on the Kiul-Jamalpur section resumed at 7 pm