Five Maoists have been arrested in connection with the twin landmine blasts near Pathra culvert in Aurangabad last week.
Aurangabad superintendent of police (SP) Upendra Kumar Sharma said the five rebels were arrested from different places of the district late on Sunday night for their involvement in the blasts, killing Sushil Pandey — the husband of district board member Sudha Devi — and his six aides on Thursday.
The arrested Maoists have been identified as Vijay Singh, a resident of Chanda village, Vyas Paswan of Simarahua village, and Sohrai Bhuyian, Laxman Bhuyian and Suresh Bhuyian of Kadiahi village. Two countrymade carbines, a countrymade pistol, 25 live cartridges and 15 posters were seized from them.
Sharma said the arrested activists of the banned Naxalite outfit — the CPI (Maoist) — were also involved in the attack on the camp office of a private construction company under the jurisdiction of Goh police station of the district in July. The rebels had taken away 29 sophisticated firearms after killing six personnel of the Special Auxiliary Police (SAP) deployed at the camp office, he added.
The SP, who air-dashed to Aurangabad from Darbhanga on July 18 to assume charge from his predecessor Daljeet Singh after the latter was shifted to the police headquarters, said three police teams headed by additional SP Rajesh Bharti and two sub-divisional police officers (SDPOs) — Anwar Javed and Ajay Kumar Yadav — were formed to arrest the culprits.
He said an FIR was lodged with the Khudwan police station on the statement of the district board member against 57 persons. Seven of them were made as named accused in the complaint, he added.
Daudnagar SDPO Javed said the rebels used two powerful improvised explosive devices to blow up the sports utility vehicle, transporting the victims from a market.
Inspector-general (operations) Amit Kumar, who is monitoring the police operations, said adequate police forces had been provided to the district police to launch a concerted drive against the rebels. Three squads of the special task force, each having 34 trained personnel, had been deployed in the district for the operation, he said.
Kumar said Shushil Pandey was the target of the Maoists ever since he was released from jail.
A source said the Maoists had threatened Pandey with dire consequences for his links with Ranvir Sena, a private militia of landowners of south and central Bihar. Two days after the blasts, the CPI (Maoist) took the responsibility of the attack on the former Ranvir Sena supporters. It also warned of more attacks on the members of a particular community.
Taking a serious note of the warning, the police headquarters has sounded an alert in the rebel-hit districts, including Aurangabad.