Announcing their presence ahead of the Lok Sabha poll in Bihar, Maoists on Friday abducted six labourers in one part of the state and set alight a BJP MLA’s petrol pump in another.
The latest incidents come on the heels of Tuesday’s ambush in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma district where 15 of a joint security team and a civilian were left dead after more than 100 Maoists opened fire on them.
Officials said armed Maoists abducted six persons engaged in lifting sand from Kiul river bed, between Jamui and Chanan in south eastern Bihar and set afire two sand drilling machines, late on Thursday.
Around the same time, ultras set on fire a petrol pump belonging to BJP’s Aurai MLA Ram Surat Rai and attacked his house at Garha in north Bihar’s Muzaffarpur district.
Confirming the Jamui incident, SP Jitendra Rana said Maoists had initially abducted eight persons but subsequently released two of them. The Bihar police and CRPF launched a joint operation to rescue the abductees. Police suspect Maoists abducted them after the company engaged in sand lifting refused to pay them levy.
Earlier, in January 2013, Maoists had abducted eight labourers from the same area. Later, 15 people, including 12 labourers, were kidnapped in Jamui, but all were subsequently released unharmed. Two persons were taken into custody from Katra in connection with the Muzaffarpur incident, on Friday.
Confirming the petrol pump incident, Muzaffarpur SSP Saurabh Kumar said, “Maoists had demanded `35,000 as levy. They had warned the MLA either to pay the amount or be ready to face consequences,” said the SSP. But, it was not clear whether the MLA had reported the matter or sought more security, or if any preventive action had been taken.