In the wake of audacious abductions by Maoists in Odisha and Chhattisgarh, the Bihar government has asked legislators and top officials in the state's 33 insurgency-hit districts to step-up their security and avoid late night travel, officials said on Sunday.
An official in chief minister's office said the state police headquarters has alerted them to take their security seriously following abductions of BJD legislator Jhina Hikaka from a hilly area in Odisha and Sukma district collector Alex Paul Menon in Chhattisgarh.
As many as 33 of Bihar's 38 districts are Maoist-affected.
"The government had requested legislators and district officials, particularly district magistrates, posted in Maoist-affected districts to take their security seriously during their visits to rural areas," an official told IANS on condition of anonymity.
Legislators of Maoist-affected districts - including Gaya, Aurangabad, Arwal, Jehanabad, Banka and Jamui - have been asked to inform local police stations before their visits and avoid late night travel, officials said.
All officials, particularly district magistrates and divisional commissioners, were asked not to visit rural areas without proper security.
An official in the state's intellgence department said that Maoists may abduct legislators or top officials in Bihar to create trouble for the state government. "Maoists are desperate to free their leaders lodged in different jails across the state. They could strike in the manner they did in Odisha and Chattishgarh to bargain," the official said.
"The district magistrates have to assess their security needs during visits to rural areas. It is for them to decide upon their own security," the official added.
He pointed that the Maoists' abducted Chattishgarh collector due to lack of proper number of security forces with him during his visit to an interior part of the district.
The government has asked them to avoid unpaved roads and use anti-landmine vehicles in vulnerable areas.