In a stepped up extremist activities, CPI (Maoist) gunned down two Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel and injured three others between Ghorparan and Narganjo railway stations under Asansol railway division of Eastern railway on Sunday morning. They also looted two carbines, two SLRs and one 9 mm pistol from the policemen. However, no passenger was harmed by the extremists.
This is the second incident of Naxal attack in Bihar within a fortnight. Barely a few days ago, about 300 extremists stormed Righa police station and a bank in Sitamarhi district and killed a Special Auxiliary Police (SAP) jawan and wounded an assistant manager of the bank and a homeguard jawan.
Reports reaching the State police headquarters said that around 100 strong-armed squad of the CPI (Maoist), including women members, boarded Howrah-Mokama passenger (213 Up) in different groups at Simultala and Ghorparan railway stations. When the train left Ghorparan railway station at around 7.30 am, women activists entered a sleeper coach (83209) in which RPF personnel were also travelling. First they befriend them and after some time they threw chilly powder in their eyes.
The RPF jawans, said to be five in number, were caught off guard and started protecting their eyes. Taking advantage of the situation, the Maoists tried to snatch their firearms. When they offered resistance, one of the women activists fired from close range, killing one of the jawans on the spot and causing injuries to four others. Soon other Maoists, travelling in other compartments joined them.
The Maoists alighted from the train after pulling alarm chain before Narganjo Block hut. They also shouted anti-government slogans before they disembarked.
The railway and GRP officials came to know about the incident only when the train reached Jhajha railway station at around 9.03 am. The GRP lodged a case against unidentified extremists on the basis of the statement of an injured constable, Jayant Biswas. Biswas informed the senior officials that over 40 Maoists were travelling in the sleeper coach.
Jamui Superintendent of Police A K Ambedkar, who rushed to the spot with district magistrate, Ram Shobhit Paswan, said that Arijit Bag died on the spot while another RPF constable, Palash Ghosh, succumbed to his injuries on way to Jhajha hospital. “We have launched a massive combing operation in the area to nab the extremists involved in the attack,” he said.
DIG, Munger Sunil Kumar did not rule out the possibility of involvement of the same extremist group that had carried out operations on a BMP camp at Khaira village on February 26.
Additional Division Railway Manager (Asansol), Anil Kumar told HT over telephone that an assistant sub inspector, S N P Srivastava, who sustained four bullet wounds in the attack, had been shifted to Kolkata railway hospital and havildar B Sardar and J Biswas were undergoing treatment at Asansol divisional hospital. “The condition of Srivastava is stated to be critical while the two other injured constables are out of danger,” he said. Srivastava was leading the escort party.
He lamented that the police failed to make any headway in the Naxalites’ attack on Narganjo railway station in April last year. “Had the police taken the matter seriously and launched operation against extremists, the attack between Narganjo and Ghorparan would have been averted,” he said, adding that senior security commandant Nurul Hoda and assistant security commandant R K Singh had been camping at the site of occurrence. “The attack has not affected the movement of train on Asansol-Patna main line,” he added. The train guard was so terrified that he fainted and was subsequently admitted to Jhajha hospital.
Inspector General (Railway) A S Nimbran said that the borders of Bihar and Jharkhand had been sealed and all the railway stations under the division put on high alert. “Raids are on to arrest the Maoists,” he added.
It may be recalled here that about a year ago the underground Maoists had blasted the building of Narganjo railway station.