"When you meet him (Chief Minister Nitish Kumar), tell him what we've told you – if the government does not release our comrades, we will shoot dead your father."
That was what a Maoist said on the phone, recalls 12-year-old Shalini, daughter of Sub-Inspector Abhay Yadav, who had been reportedly killed on Thursday, as the Maoists' second deadline ended at 10.00 am on Thursday.
The Maoists killed seven security personnel and kidnapped four — sub-inspectors Abhay Yadav and Rupesh Kumar Sinha and Bihar Military Police men Ehtesham Khan and BMP Havildar Lucas Tete — after a gun battle on Sunday in Kajra hills in Lakhisari district.
Family members of the kidnapped policemen waited in front of Raj Bhawan for news about any development in the government's supposed talks with the Maoists.
When the unconfirmed reports of the killing came in on Thursday, Yadav's mother Naina Devi fainted. Security men whisked Yadav's family to their home in Lakhisarai, about 100 km from here.
"There is nothing to be done now. We have been directed to take Abhay's family members back to their home in Lakhisarai," said a policeman.
Earlier, Yadav's wife, Rajni (41), who rushed to Kumar after getting the call from the Maoists, fell ill and was taken to the Patna Medical College and Hospital. She was unaware of her husband's death.
Kumar and the state police had assured Rajni that something would come out of the talks with the rebels. But on Thursday, the chief minister threw up his hands: "Whom should we talk to?" Yadav's family did not get another audience with Kumar.
Lucas Tete's family also got a similar treatment. "If the government fails in having him released, be certain that we will return to kill ourselves right here and the blame for our deaths will be on no one but Nitish Kumar," threatened Tete's mother, as security men shooed her and Tete's wife and two children away.
Soon after their exit from the scene, all the roads leading to 1 Anne Marg, the CM's residence, was sealed.