In a direct and chilling challenge to the Bihar and Central governments, Maoists dumped the bullet-riddled body of Bihar Military Police sub-inspector Lucas Tete on a roadside in Bihar’s Lakhisarai.
Tete’s body was found on Friday, almost a week after he was abducted by Maoists. A note found alongside his body threatened to kill the other three policemen in Maoist custody, including Abhay Yadav, who was thought to have been killed on Wednesday.
The Maoists are demanding the release of eight of their colleagues who are in jail.
Tete’s family, which till Friday was under the impression he was alive, went into shock. The misery continued for the other families, with no word of where the three other policemen were.
The Nitish Kumar government, unable to either engage the Maoists nor track them down and rescue the hostages, launched an enhanced offensive involving the BSF, CRPF, Special Task Force and Bihar Military Police. The forces concentrated around the Kajra hills in Lakhisarai, where the Maoists, numbering up to a hundred, are suspected to be holed up. More central forces are likely to join the operations soon.
Tete’s body was found in a pool of blood on a road bordering the forests, about two kms from the location of Sunday’s encounter along with the note. The fate of the three other policemen stays unknown. Officials said there has been no communication from the Maoists about the hostages, even though their own deadline of 10 am on Friday expired.
The Maoists’ ‘spokesperson’ has been out of touch with the media as well.
Sources say the Maoists are maintaining their silence after authorities started tracking their mobile phone signal. This is also hampering the forces’ operations.
“The search is on but the force have not yet found any trace of Maoists or the policemen abducted during an encounter on Sunday in Lakhisarai district,” said Inspector General (Operations) K.S. Dwivedi, overseeing the anti-Naxal operations.
The ultras had kidnapped sub-inspectors Rupesh Kumar Sinha and Abhay Yadav, BMP havildar Ehtesham Khan and BMP ASI Tete after the encounter in Kajra hills and warned to kill them if eight of their jailed colleagues were not released immediately.
The eight Maoists lodged in different jails of Bihar include Jai Paswan, Vijay Chourasia, Prem Bhuian, Pramod Barnawal, Ramvilas Tanti, Ramesh Tirki, Arjun Koda and Rattu Koda.