A day after a landmine explosion triggered by Maoists claimed the lives of eight policemen in Aurangabad district of south-central Bihar, the police were still struggling to come up with an effective action plan to deal with the increasingly belligerent ultras.
For much of Wednesday, top police officials reached by HT kept on repeating they were holding meeting(s) at Aurangabad and were not in a position to say anything on the matter immediately.
Among those who participated in the day-long meetings were central zone (Patna) IG Sushil Khopde, IG (Operations) Amit Kumar and Aurangabad SP Upendra Kumar Sharma.
However, Aurangabad BJP MLA Ramadhar Singh, till recently a minister in the Nitish government, said the police infrastructure had collapsed in the face of the Maoist onslaught in Magadh region, including Aurangabad.
“No combing operation has been launched to nab the ultras. I demand that Magadh be handed over to the army/para-military forces for effective tacking of the Maoist menace”, Singh told HT.
Information pieced together by HT showed in the absence of an effective strategy to tackle the problem, the police in Aurangabad district have been a soft target of Maoists since the 1990s.
Maoists lobbed bombs and killed Dhibra station house officer when he was returning from patrolling on a motorcycle in 1990.
The ultras attacked the Dehri-Gaya passenger train near Fesar railway station and killed four jawans of Bihar police, besides looting their rifles and ammunitions in 1993.
The same year, Maoists attacked the Baghoi police picket and killed a constable and a chowkidar.
In 1997, the ultras killed four jawans of Bihar military police (BMP-1) and looted their arms and ammunition at a fair at Bhrigurari village under Devkund police station. A sub inspector and eight jawans were critically injured in the attack.
Around the same time, Maoists killed a Havildar and injured three policemen and looted several fire arms and ammunition in an attack on Hrihar Urdana police picket.
Bandeya and Anjan police pickets also came in Maoist attack during the same year.
Again, in 2003, Maoists blew up Bandeya and Anjan police pickets. They also blew up the Simara police station building and killed a policeman. They also looted arms and ammunition in these three attacks.
In 2007, the ultras attacked RPF jawans at the Rafiganj railway station, killing one and looting six firearms and ammunition.
Tandawa police, targeted by Maoists on Tuesday, had also come under attack in 2009. Then, the ultras killed a number of BMP jawans during patrolling and looted their sophisticated arms and ammunition.
A police party had a narrow escape from the land mine exploded by Maoists near Pachokhar village in 2010. It was returning after conducting assembly elections. However, eight villagers were killed in the attack.