Archive for the ‘Bihar’ Category

Nine killed in Maoist attack in Bihar

July 1, 2007

SASARAM/BIHAR: Nine persons, including five policemen, were killed and as many were wounded as CPI-Maoist rebels carried out simultaneous attacks on a police station and an outpost in Bihar’s Rohtas district and fled with arms and ammunition.

Superintendent of Police N H Khan said around 200 Maoists simultaneously attacked the Rajpur police station and Baghaila outpost at midnight Saturday night and blew up the structures with dynamite.

The rebels fired randomly at the policemen, killing five constables, a chowkidar and three civilians, Khan said.

They looted four self-loading rifles, eight .303 rifles, two INSAS rifles, three carbines, and hundreds of rounds of ammunition during the hour-long audacious attack.

Nine others, including four policemen, were injured in the incident. While some are being treated here, the critically injured were sent to Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh.

The Naxalites left several handbills at the scene that claimed the attacks were launched to protest against the alleged naming of their comrades, including Barun, in “false cases”.

The deceased have been identified as Phulchand Munda, Shivdayal Ram, Ghoran Mandal, Mahavir Ram, Vimal Toppo (all policemen), Rajbali Singh (chowkidar), Bittu, Hardayal Ram and Dwarika Mishra (villagers).

Khan said police had engaged the attackers in a fierce battle at a place close to the scene and raids were now continuing at different places in Aurangabad and Rohtas districts to apprehend them.

The attack came close on the heels of the two-day economic blockade by the proscribed outfit from June 26 against the economic policies of the Centre including creation of Special Economic Zones and alleged torture of their comrades in police custody.

Meanwhile, police recovered six handgrenades and two rifles from a place near Obera police station in neighbouring Aurangabad district after a fierce encounter with the rebels who, however, managed to flee later.

Police fired more than 1,000 rounds in reply to hundreds of rounds fired by the Naxalites during the encounter which lasted for over three hours, official sources said.

DNA

Bihar’s forests under Naxal shadow

June 18, 2007

Posters on tree trunks inside Gaya’s forest reserve, allegedly put up by Naxals, warn of dire consequences for ‘trespassers’ including forest rangers
Naxal activity in Bihar has found a new breeding ground – the state’s only forest reserve, has fallen to the Naxals.

TIMES NOW has exclusive information that Naxals in Bihar are expanding base and encroaching on government land to make bunkers and training camps.

Naxals have targetted the forest reserve in Bihar’s Gaya district – the state’s only wildlife sanctuary the Gautam Buddha Sanctuary – as their training camp and have also made bunkers there. Out of the total area of the forest reserve, as much as 70% is under their influence. The area under question falls on the border between Bihar and Jharkhand, and is part of the infamous ‘Red Corridor’.

What is worse, the Government is aware of such illegal encroachments, but is just not equipped to doing anything about them. The sanctuary spans around 135 sq km, and has been in existence since 1979.

Forest rangers warned

The Naxals have such immense hold on the land here that they have stuck posters inside the sanctuary, warning commoners against trespassing. For the Forest Rangers, the warning is more severe. The rangers have been warned that if they tread inside the Naxal territory, they will be beheaded.

Chief Conservator of Forests (Magadh Range) U S Jha says, “We have limited resources and there is this Naxal menace which is affecting the mobility of officers.”

What makes matters worse for the forest rangers is that they cannot defend themselves as they do not have any sophisticated armoury.

Meanwhile Lal Bahadur, leader of the Maoist Communist Centre (MCC) a Naxal group, has made the following statement : “We want to drive home the point that they (Naxals) can takeover anything, their high command decides on whether to use the forest land as training camp or for making bunkers.

Timesnow

Upper caste hindu chops of lower caste milkman’s head for late arrival

May 8, 2007

Beheaded for late arrival

SHASHANK SHEKHAR

Bokaro, April 27: In a throw-back to medieval times, a security officer employed by Bokaro Steel Plant chopped off the head of a milkman last night, merely because he had been an hour late in milking the officer’s cows.

Petrified neighbours, warned not to interfere, watched as Jaiprakash Singh (55) held the milkman Upendra Yadav (32) and ordered his sons to chop off the head. The dutiful sons obliged.

The sensational crime caused a commotion and hundreds of agitated people stormed the officer’s residential quarter. But by then the officer and his sons had fled, leaving behind the officer’s wife.

When the older son, Kaushal (26), who had actually used the sword, was found hiding in a neighbour’s house this morning and arrested, the mob surrounded the sector IX police station, demanding an eye for an eye.

Tension simmered as civil and police officers tried to control the situation. The commotion continued till late in the afternoon with the mob finally demanding adequate compensation and a job for the widow. The security officer and his younger son, Chhotu Singh (22) are absconding.

Upendra Yadav’s wailing widow recalled that the officer reached the hutment, located barely 50 yards from the officer’s quarter, late in the night in an inebriated condition. Her husband, who was ailing, was asleep on a cot when the officer woke him up, tied a towel round his neck and dragged him out. The widow and neighbours kept pleading with him but the officers warned onlookers not to interfere. Horrified neighbours watched as the officer and his younger son held the poor victim down while the elder son brought down the sword on his neck.

The widow, left with three children below the age of 12, said her husband had been reaching the officer’s house late because of his own illness and also because their eldest son was not keeping well.

The security officer, said neighbours, is short-tempered, foul-mouthed and arrogant. “He always boasted of being a Rajput and a landlord and claimed it his right to keep swords at home,” recalled one.

Even the officer’s eldest son, Kaushal, has a criminal past and had shot a man dead a few years ago. He was released on bail late last year.

The Telegraph

Rebel leader in cop net

May 3, 2007

Rebel leader in cop net
OUR CORRESPONDENT

Gaya, May 2: Ram Raj alias Azad, alleged to be the zonal commander of CPI (Maoist), was arrested on Tuesday evening from a beer bar in Gaya.

Azad’s arrest is being regarded as a severe jolt to the Naxalite outfit.

According to the Gaya police superintendent (SP) Amit Jain, Azad was under electronic surveillance for quite sometime now.

At the time of his arrest, the leader was enjoying a drink and talking to his friend, a performer at Sarai, one of the oldest red-light areas in the state.

Giving details of the operation that ultimately led to the arrest, Gaya SP Amit Jain said, like other Naxalite leaders, Azad, too, was “fond of good things of life, including wine and women”.

Also the levy (extortion) money at his disposal made it easy for him to indulge. Ironically, the Naxalite big gun was unarmed at the time of his arrest.

As to why a leader of his stature was moving in a crowded locality, close to Kotwali police station, unarmed, the SP believes it was either Azad’s overconfidence or because he believed he was “unrecognisable” as he was an underground agent.

Ultimately, it was Azad’s mobile phone, which proved to be of help. The police that had Azad’s number called to ascertain, who among the dozen and more bar visitors, was Azad.

According to the SP, Azad was involved in a number of Maoist operations, including the attack on Tekari and Paraiya police stations. Nearly six officers were killed during the attack on the two police stations and arms were also looted.

A resident of Goh in the neighbouring Aurangabad, Azad’s name also cropped up during the executors’ interrogation after the Jahanabad jailbreak. The Gaya police, according to sources, are gathering information from other dis tricts, especially Aurangabad, about the leader’ activities.

The Maoists, it may be recalled here, are yet to recover from the trauma caused by the arrest of Ajay Kanu and Nathun Kahar, both prominent leaders in Bihar’s Naxalite movement.

The Telegraph

Police organise camps to combat Naxalism in district

April 23, 2007

Police organise camps to combat Naxalism in district
Sunday April 22 2007 09:59 IST

DEOGARH: Police continued with their multi-pronged offensive to combat Naxalism in the district.

Carrying on its interaction with villagers under Community Policing Programme, Deogarh SP Shafeen Ahmed K, on Saturday, said he dared to hold a function in the Naxal den of Jadagola in Tuhilamal gram panchayat under Reamal block of the district.

The villagers of Jadagola, Debtadhar, Gandasahi, Kisansahi, Baghmari, Pukutimal attended. Shafeen called upon the villagers, who have joined the ultra rank and cadres, to return to the mainstream.

Elaborating on the government benefits for the surrendering ultras, he assured them of all help and support. He also felicitated the headmen of villages on the occasion.

Trains suspended as naxals seize station

April 23, 2007

Trains suspended as naxals seize station

Jamui, April 21 (PTI): Suspected naxalites of the banned CPI (Maoist) seized Narganjo halt railway station for several hours today after kidnapping the cabin master and porters to enforce a bandh called by them, leading to suspension of train services on the Howrah-Patna section of Eastern Railway.

Nearly 200 naxals swooped on the small station in Bihar’s Jamui district at around one a.m. and held the cabin master and porters captive, Railway sources said.

The cabin master informed the divisional control room at Asansol in West Bengal about the incident and that the naxalites claimed to have planted landmines on tracks, they said.

Trains, including Howrah-Amritsar Punjab Mail, Lalquila Express and Maurya Express, were controlled at Jasidih station in Jharkhand and Danapur-Durg Express and Danapur-Howrah Express at Jhajha station.

Divisional Railway Manager of Asansol division of the Eastern Railway informed the District Magistrate and Superintendent of Police of Jamui about the incident.

Contingents of special auxiliary police, government railway police, RPF and Bihar police rushed to the spot following which the naxalites retreated without causing any damage to the station or personnel.

The cabin master and porters were also set free by the naxals.

The naxalites have called a 24-hour bandh in Jamui district today to protest the death of their comrade Balgovind Yadav in Jamui jail recently.

A tower van carrying police personnel was shuttled between Jhajha and Simultala stations on both the up and down lines to look for landmines which were not found.

The tracks were cleared for train traffic around 8.15 am, sources said.

Vehicular traffic in rural pockets was badly affected due to the bandh.

“There is virtually no traffic on Sikandra-Narganjo and Jhajha-Chakai roads,” sources said, adding so far no incident of naxalite violence has been reported in the district.

The naxalites had shot dead two Railway Protection Force personnel and injured three others in a running train near Narganjo station on April Eight. They had also blown up the cabin at the same station in April 2006.

The Hindu


Woman ultra who saved the lives of six CISF men

April 14, 2007

Woman ultra who saved the lives of six CISF men

Six men including two CISF personnel were killed when the extremists attacked a CISF barrack on Saturday, April 6 at Bermo. But the six CISF men, who finally survived, owe their lives to a young woman Maoist, who had pleaded, argued and finally persuaded fellow comrades to let the injured CISF men go injured but alive.

Additional Director General of Police (Special Branch) Gauri Shankar Rath confirmed that this particular woman extremist actually saved these lives.

“When the Maoists barged into the CISF barrack after hours of gunfight, the security personnel had no ammunition left. They were injured and could not have defended them. Killing these men was the next thing expected from the Maoists. But the woman saved them. In fact, the CISF survivors have testified that had this woman not intervened, the Naxalites would have killed them,” Rath told HT on Tuesday.

According to Bokaro police officers, few of the Maoists had even cocked up their rifles. “She actually came in between and convinced the fellow comrades that killing these men will serve no purpose. It seems the women extremist despite wearing the Maoists greens still have some compassion left within,” said the Bokaro police officer.

The Maoist squad that had attacked Bermo had several women manning leadership positions. Again on Sunday, it was a group of women Maoists that sprinkled chilly powder in the eyes of five RPF men at Narganjo railway station (Bihar), and looted their weapons. Before moving out, they also shot two RPF men dead.

Similarly, it was a group of women Maoists that had snatched weapons of Sunil Mahto’s bodyguards before the other team killed the Member of Parliament from Jharkhand on March 4.

“The women Maoists are almost as skilled and dangerous as their male counterparts. Besides, the Maoists leaders find women more trustworthy, as they seldom desert the organisation,” Rath admitted.

Not surprisingly, the number of women extremists is swelling in both Jharkhand and Bihar, officers admit.

Hindustan Times

The Enduring Shock

April 14, 2007

The Enduring Shock
The government figures show that fatalities in Maoist violence in Bihar have declined over the past three years, but the continuing ‘surprise strikes’ — obviously after prolonged and meticulous preparation — remain an alarming trend. ……
Bibhu Prasad Routray

In an attack that vaguely resembled the Jehanabad jailbreak operation of November 2005, on March 31, 2007, hundreds [estimates vary between 200 to 500] of suspected cadres of the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) led simultaneous attacks on a police station, a block office and a branch of the Central Bank of India at Riga in Bihar’s Sitamarhi district bordering Nepal, 300 kilometres from capital Patna. An hour-long exchange of fire between the Maoists and the Bihar Military Police (BMP) and Special Auxiliary Police (SAP) personnel left one SAP personnel dead and half a dozen people including the bank manager injured. The Maoists attempted to blow up the Manihari road over-bridge, using ‘milk-can bombs’, in a bid to disrupt the transport link between the target of the attack and the district headquarters at Sitamarhi. Only after a SAP platoon stationed at Manihari reacted and was subsequently reinforced by personnel of the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB, a border guarding force under the administrative control of the union home ministry) and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), did the Maoists call off the operation and flee.

While security forces can rightly claim to have successfully repulsed the attack, what remains alarming is the continued element of surprise that such attacks bring, particularly in view of the prolonged and meticulous preparation that precedes such incidents. Revelations made by arrested Maoist leader Shivchandra Paswan, one of the senior leaders who participated in the attack, and who was arrested on April 2 from Barahi village under the Riga police station, threw light on such preparatory efforts. Paswan revealed that arms used during the attack were smuggled into Riga days before the operation, on vegetable-laden carts. The ‘area commanders’ of the outfit coordinated the attack by keeping each other involved using Chinese-made Motorola walkie-talkie sets. The Police, obviously, had little clue, as Sitamarhi district Superintendent of Police M.R. Nayak who rushed to Riga after the attack, conceded: “‘I had no intelligence inputs regarding the attack. There was no warning of any threat of Maoist attack.”

While primary investigations have established that most of the Maoist leaders and cadres involved in the attack had come from the Nepal side of the border [Riga is barely 15 kilometres from the India-Nepal border], statements emerging from Police sources after the attack underline the problem that continues to affect the performance of the security set up in most of the country’s Maoist affected states: available knowledge failing to be translated into preventive action.

Bihar Police intelligence reports indicate that the Maoists have traditionally exploited the porous Indo-Nepal border for their activities. The dense Balmiki Nagar forests on the banks of Susta river, which divides India and Nepal, have remained a safe haven for the Maoists. Areas such as West Champaran’s Bagaha along the India-Nepal border are emerging as prime recruitment grounds for the Maoists, and a Bihar Police document notes specifically that “Tharu (name of a tribe) boys and girls of Bagaha in West Champaran district have been recruited.”

While it is not easy to guard the 1,747 kilometre long India-Nepal international border, 725 kilometres of which runs along Bihar, even the large movements that would have taken place before and after the Riga attack appear to have escaped the attention of the enforcement and border security agencies. Similarly, little appears to have been deciphered from events such as the meeting that was organised by the Nepali Maoists, two days before the Riga attack, in the adjacent Gaur Bazaar in the Rautahat district across in Nepal on March 29.

The porosity of the border has become a permanent and convenient alibi to explain away Police helplessness.

Complacence is, however, certainly part of the problem. Fatalities in Maoist violence in Bihar have declined over the past three years. According to the union ministry of home affairs (MHA), left-wing extremism related fatalities declined from 171 in 2004 to 96 in 2005, and further to 45 in 2006. Maoist related incidents also dipped from 183 in 2005 to 107 in 2006. A total 257 Maoists were arrested in 2006. According to the Institute for Conflict Management database, only nine fatalities have been reported till April 4, 2007. This has been hailed as a notable ‘improvement’ in the situation both by the union government as well as the government of Bihar.

While this data is heartening, it fails to provide a complete picture of the situation on the ground. According to a March 2007 document of the Bihar Police, 30 of the 38 districts in the state have been affected by Maoist activities. Nine of these districts — Patna, Gaya, Aurangabad, Jehanabad, Arwal, Kaimur, Rohtas, Nawada and Jamui — are designated as ‘hyper-sensitive’. A further nine districts, including Bhojpur, Muzzafarpur, Sitamarhi, Motihari, Darbhanga, Saharsa, Banka, Bagaha and Sheohar, fall into the ‘sensitive’ category. The remaining 12 districts are categorised as ‘less sensitive’. Evidently, Maoist activities — if not Maoist violence — is endemic across much of the state’s territory.

Before the March 31 Riga attack, moreover, the Maoists were involved in several incidents, including at least three major attacks, in the state. On January 22, one police personnel was killed and at least two people were injured when CPI-Maoist cadres attacked the police picket at Erahi in the Buxar district. The Maoists reportedly decamped with 10 rifles. On February 27, CPI-Maoist cadres attacked a BMP camp at Khaira village in the Lakhisarai district and killed four Police personnel, besides wounding another three. The extremists decamped with one carbine, three self-loading rifles and ammunition. On the same day, Maoists blasted the railway track near the eastern cabin of Dhanauri station on Kiul-Jamalpur section of the Eastern Railway in the Lakhisarai district. They also uprooted the track at Urain station in a stretch of about 10 metres.

There is further evidence of Maoist dominance over the ‘recovered’ Bihar: the Riverine areas of Purnia, Katihar, Sitamarhi and Saharsa remain safe havens for the CPI-Maoist. Maoist recruitment and training centres are known to operate in the southern Bihar districts of Jamui, Gaya and Kaimur. Three schools at Amba in the Aurangabad district have closed down since February 2007 after the Maoists threatened to blow them up unless school authorities paid a ‘levy’. Since then, classes are being conducted in open fields by irregular teachers, as the permanent teachers have fled out of fear. In the Gaya district, Maoists have set up ‘People’s Courts’ to try those charged with robbery and rape. The accused are hung up-side-down from trees and beaten till they ‘confess’ to their crimes.

Following the Riga attack, the state government contended that the attack was a consequence of the March 2007 diversion of 10 CRPF companies from the northern Bihar districts to the election-bound state of Uttar Pradesh by the Union government. Since 2006, Bihar has had 23 companies of the CRPF at its disposal, out of a total of 30 in the state, for dedicated counter-Maoist operations. However, the need to provide Uttar Pradesh with 700 companies of Central Paramilitary Forces (CPMFs) led to the unilateral move, a decision which was reportedly resisted by the state Chief Secretary and Home Secretary.

While Bihar initially appears to have been a victim of New Delhi’s myopic policies, the reality is somewhat more complex.

First, while the MHA had asked the Bihar government to temporarily relieve 10 of the 30 companies of CPMFs deployed in the state, the decision of the locations from where this force was to be withdrawn was left to the discretion of the state government’s and its assessment of available intelligence. Secondly and crucially, the persistent dependence on the Centre is increasingly unsustainable. The MHA, for instance, contends that the state government has raised only two of the three sanctioned India Reserve Battalions (IRBs), thus continuing its dependence on Central Forces. Bihar’s state Police Force, moreover, is one of the worst in the country, with the lowest police to population ratio (at 56 per 100,000 population, against a national average of 122 per 100,000), and the neglect of the state’s security administration has been both protracted and abysmal.

The reality in Bihar, as in most of the 16 Maoist-afflicted states in the country — with the dramatic exception of Andhra Pradesh — is that the enforcement and intelligence agencies are yet to come to grips with the character, nuances and scale of the Maoist threat, and have been repeatedly overwhelmed by ‘surprise’ attacks. The sheer capacities required to contain the Maoist threat are lacking, and the understanding of Maoist strategies, both of mobilisation and of protracted war, are severely deficient. The approach within the security set-up of most affected states remains defensive, leaving the initiative almost entirely in Maoist hands, while the enforcement agencies continue to function within the context of a ‘routine law-and-order’ context that is entirely incapable of identifying and monitoring indices of the gradual Maoist mobilisation and consolidation that precedes the orchestration of violence.

The killing of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) Member of Parliament, Sunil Mahato on March 4 in Jharkhand, the attack on the Rani Bodli Police camp in Chhattisgarh on March 15, the April 6-attack on the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) camp and a Police station at Bermo in Jharkhand and the Riga attack in Bihar represent the beginning of a new phase of high-profile Maoist strikes, especially in regions where large mining, irrigation or industrial projects are ongoing or planned — a fact that is strongly corroborated in the Maoist literature. An eight-page ‘annual report’ of the ‘Central Military Commission’ of the CPI-Maoist (October 2005 — September 2006), seized by security forces in March 2007, lists several upcoming projects in Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh as targets for such attacks. The list includes proposed bauxite mines operated by the Jindal group near Visakhapatnam; the Polvaram irrigation project in Andhra Pradesh; projects of the Tata, Essar and Jindal groups in Chhattisgarh; the Rajghara-Raoghat-Jagdalpur Railway line; the Posco and Tata steel plants in Orissa; power plants of the Reliance group; and the ongoing Narmada projects in Madhya Pradesh.

On April 4, Bihar’s Chief Minister Nitish Kumar came up with the routine responses that inevitably follow each Maoist strike. He asked his top bureaucrats and police officers to strengthen the defence mechanism by speedy restoration and strengthening of basic infrastructure in Left Wing extremism-affected areas. Given the track record of the state government, it is, however, difficult to imagine that the Riga episode will bring about any radical transformation in the way the state has battled left-wing extremism thus far.

Bibhu Prasad Routray is Research Fellow, Institute for Conflict Management. Courtesy, the South Asia Intelligence Review of the South Asia Terrorism Portal

Outlookindia

Red storm kills strikes CISF Camp

April 9, 2007
Red storm kills strikes CISF Camp
Maoists decamp with arms, ammunition

A jawan looks for his belongings in the rubble. Picture by Pankaj Kumar

Bokaro, April 7: A day after the daring attack by Maoists, the CISF camp at Khasmahal, barely 300 metres from Bokaro Thermal Township, looked as if a storm had blown over it.

Heavy explosives and grenades had ripped through the seven rooms in the camp while a CISF truck, parked inside the camp, appeared to have borne the brunt of a mine-blast.

The rebels used country-made rocket launchers to keep reinforcements away. Molotov cocktails, can bombs and grenades were used to keep people indoors while public address systems ordered the CISF men to surrender.

The Maoists were apparently after the cache of assault rifles delivered to the camp a few weeks ago. But the consignment had been removed and the Naxalites failed to lay their hands on them.

Rebels at large, police could only recover a rifle, a mobile phone and cartridges today left behind by the Naxalites.

A landmine was used to blow up the Pilpilo bridge around 8 pm last evening. The deafening sound was the signal for the attack to commence.

A tree was felled to block the road at Kanjkiro, landmines were laid on the Gandhinagar highway. Rebels poured diesel and grease along the road.

The Maoists were led by six zonal commanders, including three young women.

The four-hour gun battle eventually left six persons, including four civilians, dead. After resisting the attack for four hours, the outnumbered CISF personnel abandoned the camp.

The rebels walked in and left after collecting four self-loading rifles and ammunition. Three women, recalls one of the four CISF jawans who reiterated, entered the camp after they ran out of ammunition.

The two CISF personnel killed in the incident have been identified as Captain Boi and Hoshiar Singh. Vijay Singh, Bharat Singh, Mukhdev Singh and Bhagwan Singh are the civilians who lost their lives.

The civilians were shot dead when the truck and the dumpers they were travelling did not stop obeying the rebels’ command.

All the three vehicles skidded on grease and came to a halt before the cowering civilians were dragged out and shot at.

The additional home secretary of the Union government, Vinay Kumar, visiting the spot promised all the needed support to Jharkhand to fight the rebels. State home secretary Sudhir Tripathy and IG (operations) of Jharkhand D. Pandey accompanied Kumar to the spot.

Kumar said security forces should be armed with sophisticated weapons to curb the growth of the Maoists in the state. He also stressed better transportation and intelligence networking.

Speaking about the incident of Nawadih, in which 15 Special Task Force personnel were blown into pieces, Kumar said the accident took place due to the irresponsible act of the police officers.

Director-general of CISF and CRPF S.I.S Ahmad, inspector-general of CISF Ajeet Singh Shekhawat, AIG of CISF J.S. Negi also inspected the spot.

Ahmad assured none of the CISF camps would be shifted from the state and promised more arms and better training to the para-military forces to counter such attacks in future.

The Telegraph

Naxal Area Commander Arrested in Gaya

April 9, 2007

Naxal Area Commander Arrested in Gaya

Gaya: April 8, 2007

In a combing operation jointly undertaken by the Central Reserve Protection Force (CRPF) and a Special Task Force (STF) to flush out Maoist guerillas from their hideouts, officials in Gaya, on Sunday, caught one Hridaya Ravi Das, a Maoist area commander wanted in several attacks on police stations, following an encounter at Hasanpur village.

As reported, the leftist extremists opened fire on the police team engaged in searching for Maoists hiding in Hasanpur village.

In retaliation, the joint force of the CRPF and STF also opened fire forcing the extremists to retreat. The police, however, managed to chase Das and arrested him after minor scuffle.

While no one was said to be hurt in the incident, the police recovered a large cache of arms and ammunition including three rifles earlier looted from a police station, an SLR, a country-made rifle, and over 300 live cartridges of various calibers.

The police also recovered Naxal literature, army fatigue, and several landmine devices, officials said.

Das, a native of Gaya, has admitted of his involvement in a number of attacks on police stations and police outposts located in the remote areas in the district.

Meanwhile, a red alert has been issued in the state following the Maoist attack on Howrah-Gaya passenger in Jamui district in which two railway police jawans were killed.

Security has also been heightened in all trains under Danapur division of the East-Central Railways, security commissioner Rajendra Babu said.

Patnadaily