Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi escaped narrowly on Saturday when a bomb exploded on the railway tracks just after the train he was travelling in had passed.
Modi was in the North-East Express, which was then passing through Bakhria, Katihar, 400 km east of Patna. The incident took place at around 5.30 am.
Maoist violence continued unabated in Bihar during the 48-hour shutdown, which was over on Friday midnight, with the red brigade torching a police jeep, four trucks and two motorcycles in Sitamarhi district, 125 km north of Patna, and blasted train tracks on the Katihar-Barauni section of the railways.
More than 40 Maoists surrounded a police outpost in Sitamarhi around midnight and held five home guards captive at gun-point. Later, they poured petrol on a car and set it on fire. Two motorcycles belonging to local residents were destroyed in the process.
The home guards were resting inside the police camp after finishing their duty. “The Maoists were looking for police rifles. When they did not find any weapon, they torched the furniture and documents,” a home guard said, adding that the Maoists also fired around 20 rounds in the air. Sitamarhi Superintendent of Police Anwar Hussain confirmed the incident and said that five Maoists had been arrested.
“They were wanted in several operations carried out in Sitamarhi and Sheohar (adjacent) districts,” he said.
The Maoists also burnt a truck carrying wheat in Vaishali, north-central Bihar. They thrashed the driver and the assistant before letting them off.Ramashankar and Aditya N Jha.