Maoists abducted 14 members of a village peace committee in West Singbhum district of Jharkhand on Thursday night, barely three hours after blowing up a passenger train in the same district.
The attacks on the train and Darogasai village under Goilkera police station, 160 km southwest of capital Ranchi, is being seen as an introduction to what would come during the assembly polls beginning from November 25.
For the first time in the 42-year-old history of Maoist violence in India, the rebels attacked a passenger train on Thursday night, targeting ordinary people. Two bodies were found on Friday, crushed under a derailed compartment.
“Around 25-30 armed Naxalites raided Darogasai village last night and took away the peace committee members,” said Goilkera police station chief Dinesh Kumar Rana.
The Maoists have reportedly released two of the 14 kidnapped so far, although the police refused to confirm it.
A police official said that the peace committee members had of late been vocal against the Maoists. The state administration formed peace committees to resist Maoists in villages.
The Maoists on Friday exploded an improvised explosive device at the Steel Authority of India Limited’s iron ore mine at Kiriburu, around 200 km south-west of Ranchi. Police said the blast destroyed two pulleys and a conveyors belt, affecting the iron ore loading process for several hours.