Even as the Bihar Police mounted patrolling in bordering areas of Jharkhand, UP and West Bengal, the activists of the outlawed CPI (Maoist) blew up a community hall in Aurangabad district on the second day of their 48-hour bandh on Tuesday.
In Jharkhand, the Maoists set afire four trucks and blasted another mobile phone tower.
The bandh has been called in five states, including Bihar and Jharkhand, in protest against alleged arrest of two top-ranking Maoist leaders---Kartik and Anil---by the Bihar police. The Bihar police, however, denied the arrest of the two leaders.
Additional Director General (headquarters) Neelmani said that about 40-50 ultras raided Irki village under Dev police station in naxal affected Aurangabad district around midnight and detonated dynamites to blow up the building of the community hall. However, there was no report of any casualty or injury in the explosion, he said.
The blast was so powerful that the sound was heard in a radius of two-three kilometers. The Maoists also soughted anti-police slogans before they dispersed in the nearby forests.
Auragabad Superintendent of Police Nishant Kumar Tiwari said that a named FIR has been lodged with the Dev police station in connection with the blast, which was aimed at making its presence felt in the pockets of their influence. The name of Vikas Yadav, self-styled zonal commander of the outfit, has figured in the blast, he said.
Meanwhile, most private operators suspended their bus services from Patna to Ranchi, Hazaribagh, Jamshedpur, Daltonganj and Bokaro in Jharkhand in the wake of indefinite bandh call. Though the police assured them of providing protection, the bus operators suspended their services as a precautionary measure.
The railway officials said that several trains passing through Bihar from Jharkhand and West Bengal were running behind their schedule. As a result, the passengers had to wait for hours at different railway stations. The Maoists forced the closure of shops in rural areas of Munger, Jamui, Lakhisarai and Nawada districts.
In Jharkhand, two policemen were injured in an encounter with the Maoists who torched four trucks near Taimara Ghati on the Ranchi-Jamshedpur road. "A jawan and a police driver received minor injury in an encounter which ensued when the police rushed to the spot near Taimara Ghati, about 50 km from Ranchi, after midnight," a senior police officer of Jharkhand said.
The Maoists blew up another tower at Lali village in Latehar district. However, no one was injured in the explosion. The police said that the ultras went to the village in the wee hours, packed explosives inside the tower and triggered the blast.
This is the third mobile tower to be blown up by the Maoists in two days in Jharkhand. They had destroyed two mobile phone towers in Palamu district on Monday.
Neelmani said that patrolling has been intensified in naxal affected districts, particularly in the districts bordering Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, in the wake of Maoists’ indefinite bandh call.
Additional Director General (railway) A S Nimbran has been asked to monitor the situation, as there were apprehensions of causing damage to the railway property. In the past, railways had badly been affected due to Maoists’ bandh.
Additional police force has been deployed on trains to avert any untoward incident in running trains, which have of late become soft target of the Maoists. “Instructions have been given to all the superintendents of railway police to provide escort to long distance trains passing through the state,” he added.
A high alert has been sounded throughput the state following the Maoists’ announcement to continue bandh in Bihar and Jharkhand indefinitely till their arrested leaders were produced in court.