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Cop glare on blast masterminds
- Raids continue, success eludes teams

Patna, Dec. 6: Senior Maoist leaders Ainul Mian and Nitesh have been identified as the masterminds behind the December 3 landmine explosion on the Nabinagar-Tandawa main road in Aurangabad district.

Eight security personnel, including Tandawa police station house officer Ajay Kumar, lost their lives in the attack.

Sources said 42 persons have been named as accused in the FIR lodged with the Nabinagar police station in connection with the incident. Prominent among them are Ainul Mian and Nitesh, both self-proclaimed sub-zonal committee members of CPI(Maoist) operating in the region.

While Ainul is a resident of Suryapura under the jurisdiction of Tandawa police station, Nitesh hails from Nabinagar. The names of three other Maoist leaders — Nageshwar Singh, Lallu Singh and Pradip Yadav — also figured in the FIR. In addition, 20-25 other activists of the CPI(Maoist) have been made unidentified accused in the case.

Nabinagar station house officer Arun Kumar said raids were conducted at different hideouts of the named accused but they were not found. “Raids are on to nab the accused,” the station house officer said, adding that the Central Reserve Police Force and the Special Auxiliary Police have been pressed into service.

Sources said notices have already been served on 21 Maoist leaders hailing from Aurangabad, Gaya and Jehanabad districts under Magadh division to start the process of confiscation of their property under the Prevention of Unlawful Activities Act. “The notices were served last week after getting clearance from the home department,” a senior police officer said.

The police headquarters had submitted proposals for confiscation of property of 39 Maoist leaders. However, only 21 of them were cleared by the home department, while the remaining 18 proposals are still pending.

The police headquarters has asked the superintendents of police of all the Maoist-hit districts to ensure foolproof security to people’s representatives, including MPs, MLAs and MLCs, during their visits to their respective constituencies. The alert has been sounded in the wake of intelligence inputs, which apprehended rebel attacks on political party leaders.

Similar instructions have been given to the superintendents of rail police, who have been assigned to step up the security of the VIPs on trains.

On Tuesday, the blast was triggered around 4.30pm when the securitymen, who included personnel from the Special Auxiliary Police, were returning to Tandawa police station after attending a routine meeting on crime convened by Nabinagar circle inspector Bhup Narayan in his office. As the vehicle carrying the securitymen reached Tilharpur village on the Nabinagar-Aurangabad main road, about 140km southwest of Patna, the Maoists triggered the landmine.

On November 30, Maoists targeted a passenger train in Munger’s Jamalpur, killed three policemen and injured two others before fleeing with their automatic weapons.