Seven naxalites, including a top commander accused in the Jehanabad jailbreak case, made an abortive bid to escape from the central jail in Gaya, but were caught in the act.
Kirani Yadav, a zonal commander of the outlawed CPI (Maoist), and six of his comrades, lodged in the high-security prison, opened the locks of their cell with the help of duplicate keys last night, Superintendent of Police Amit Jain told PTI.
As they were about to climb over the jail walls with ropes, a guard sighted them and raised an alarm, Jain added.
The seven pounced upon the guard and beat him up mercilessly, but soon the warders rushed to his help, overpowered all of them and forced them back into a cell.
An inquiry has been ordered into the incident, particularly to ascertain how the prisoners came to have duplicate keys and ropes to facilitate their escape.
Kirani Yadav is one of the main accused of the Jehanabad jailbreak case on November 13, 2005 in which hundreds of naxalites were freed during a raid by the Maoist guerrillas.
He is also an accused in the case of shooting down and burning four policemen at Paraia police station in 2003 and looting six rifles and several rounds of ammunition.