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Maoists torch mobile towers

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By GAUTAM SARKAR IN BANKA
  • Published 20.09.14
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Maoists, for the first time, carried out attacks after a passage of a bandh, setting ablaze three telecom operator towers and a bus and in the early hours of Friday.

Sources said motorcycle-borne 20-25 rebels with sophisticated weapons raided Goda and Vitiya village around 1am, around 30km southwest of the Banka district headquarters. The Maoists set ablaze a tower at Goda and two others at Vitiya. They also exploded bombs and fired indiscriminately at closed shops at Vitiya market in protest against the shopkeepers. The traders had kept their establishments open, defying the Maoist’s 24-hour bandh call for Thursday.

The Naxalites also set a bus ablaze at Valua village under the jurisdiction of Sambhuganj police station in Banka on Thursday night.

Bus owner Raju Singh, a Khasar resident, said the bus had been parked at night on the road on the outskirts of Valua village when it was set afire. He said he didn’t know why his vehicle had been targeted.

Arun Kumar Singh, assistant superintendent of police (operations), Banka, told reporters that the police have started combing operations in the areas in search of the rebels.

On Thursday, the rebels had called a 24-hour bandh in protest against the fake encounter by the police and Central Reserve Police Force at Simardhab forest near Chakai block of Jamui on September 13 in which three Naxalites were killed.

On Thursday, the bandh was enforced in the remote areas of the district. In another first of sorts, the Maoists forced shopkeepers to down shutters at places like Tetria and Jilibiyamore market areas in the district during daytime.

Bacchu Singh Meena, inspector-general of police, Bhagalpur zone, expressed concern over the trend. He said it was the first time that the Maoists indulged in violence after the bandh was over.

Meena admitted that the presence of rebels at topographically inaccessible places like Vitiya was a matter of concern for police. “I have asked my juniors at Banka to get details and take appropriate steps to counter the Maoists,” he said.

He also instructed police officials to use scientific techniques such as mobile surveillance to thwart the designs of the rebels.