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Jawans battle camp darkness

Jamalpur, Dec. 2: At the Bihar Military Police-9 (BMP-9) camp in Jamalpur, darkness descends with the dual threats of Maoists and power supply.

Sandwiched between Jamalpur-Munger road and railway tracks, the 400 and odd personnel at BMP-9 have been spending sleepless nights since the past 10 days as the electricity department had snapped connection because of non-payment of dues. The two sets of whirring generators are the only source of light on the Kalipahari foothills that seemed to flicker out any moment especially after the Saturday evening Maoist ambush on a train nearby.

Intelligence inputs have long back put the vulnerable camp on high alert as it lacks basic infrastructure like a boundary wall. The inputs specifically mentioned that the camp had been rendered a soft target because people of Doulathpur locality use its premises for their regular movement.

The camp is hardly 500 metres away from the Bariakul railway tunnel where the Maoists attacked the Sahebganj-Danapur Intercity Express, killed three BMP-12 jawans and looted their sophisticated arms and ammunition. Police believe the Naxalites used the Kalipahari hills, which connect Jamui through forested and difficult terrain, to escape after the train ambush.

BMP-9 commandant Kumar Singh said electricity had been temporarily disconnected because of non-payments of bills. “At present, with the help of two generator sets, we manage to counter darkness on the campus,” he said. “However, sophisticated weapons kept at the BMP-9 armoury are not safe at all,” said N.K. Dhiraj, the general secretary of the Bihar Police Men’s Association.

Senior cops like additional director-general of police Abhay Kumar Upadhyay, BMP inspector-general of police A.K. Ambedkar and others, who were present at the BMP-9 on Sunday for a guard of honour to the deceased, also expressed their utter surprise after inspecting the camp.

Upadhyay, however, said the electricity bill dues would be cleared soon and a proposal for construction of boundary walls had been sent to the government. Ambedkar refused any threat on the BMP-9 camp as “personnel there take security measures properly”.