Maoists struck in a big way in Bihar and West Bengal on Wednesday night even after their two-day shutdown call in seven states was over, blowing up an under- construction police station and ransacking a CPI(M) office.
The attack in Bihar took place in an area about 125 km from Patna late on Wednesday.
Police sources said about 150 heavily armed Maoists attacked the Bheldi police station around 11.30 p.m., fired indiscriminately and took the caretaker, Mohammed Islam, hostage. They then blasted the building with dynamite, reducing the structure to rubble.
The personnel at the old police station site, which is about 1.5 km from the destroyed under-construction building, did not venture out and waited for Saran district SP Kamal Kishore to arrive.
They moved out of the police station only when the SP reached with reinforcements.
Kishore said the Maoists left behind some pamphlets in which they warned of damaging police buildings and other government installations in protest against the operations against them in the state and the arrests of many of their top-ranking leaders.
The SP quoted one pamphlet as saying: "We will continue similar attacks on police stations and government offices if the operation against our cadres (is) not stopped."
In West Bengal, more than a month after they killed 24 Eastern Frontier Rifles troopers in Shilda, 170 km west of Kolkata, Maoists attacked the office of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) at the same place on Wednesday night and ransacked the office.
"With the help of local opposition parties, the Maoists have ransacked our party office in Shilda," said Amiya Sengupta, CPI(M) zonal committee secretary of Belpahari.
The Maoists also attacked a forest department office nearby and assaulted two employees.
The Indian Railways on Thursday began a comprehensive enquiry into the derailment of the Rajdhani Express in the early hours of Tuesday near Gaya because of Maoist sabotage. Commissioner of Railway Safety R P Yadav is conducting the enquiry.