Trains soft targets of Maoists in Bihar, Jharkhand

Hajipur (HJP): The Maoist attack on the 13235 Sahebganj-Danapur Intercity Express, which claimed the lives of three cops, was the 13th such offensive of the ultras as trains in Bihar and Jharkhand have become their soft targets in the last eight years.

Earlier in June this year, three persons, including a constable, were killed when around 100 Maoists attacked the Patna-Dhanbad Intercity Express near Jamui railway station. They took away AK-47 and Insas rifles from the cops before escaping unchallenged in the dense forest area.

Like previous occasions, this time, too, a high-level meeting of top police brass took place where steps to beef up security measures were discussed. A combing operation and a manhunt was launched to flush out Maoists. However, no breakthrough has been made yet.

Statistics released by the Centre raises a question mark on the efficiency of the Bihar police. According to one estimate, altogether 44 people, including 16 policemen, have been killed by Maoists in Bihar in this year.

However, not a single Maoist has been gunned down in 2013. The rebels’ mayhem started in January 2005 when they attacked Kajra railway station and escaped after looting sophisticated arms.

Apart from targeting trains, there is an overall increase in Maoist attack across Bihar. The government figures say that 160 incidents of violence have taken place in the state compared to 130 last year.

“The situation is really alarming. It calls for serious effort from all quarters to stem the rot,” opined former Director-General of Police of Bihar Anand Shankar.