Maoists raided the site of a solar power plant in Aurangabad district of Bihar and torched 14 vehicles, including tractors and JCB machines, late on Thursday night, barely four days after they killed 10 personnel of the CRPF.
Police said the Maoists also set a mixing plant on fire and raised anti-police slogans at Bakshi Bigha village in Kasma police station, about 100km from Patna.
The site of the incident is just 30 km away from Saundaha forests on Aurangabad-Gaya border where the soldiers of the Central Reserve Police Force’s CoBRA battalion were killed in an improvised explosive device (IED) blast triggered by the Maoists.
“About 50-60 members of the outlawed outfit raided the solar power plant site at around midnight. They torched eight tractors, two JCB machines and some other vehicles parked there. The Maoists then set ablaze the main mixing plant by throwing fireballs. The fire soon spread to other installations,” a police officer said.
Police said the Maoists had earlier demanded a huge amount as “levy” from contractors engaged in setting up the solar power plant and threatened them with dire consequences if they did not meet the demand.
Magadh range deputy inspector general (DIG) Saurabh Kumar said the Aurangabad police have identified the Maoist group involved in the attack.
“We are in their pursuit with concrete inputs. They can never escape our dragnet,” Kumar said. “After we chalked out plans to launch a fresh offensive, the Maoists have become desperate and are attacking installations in remote areas,” the DIG added.
Two days after the IED blast, the Maoists owned responsibility for killing the 10 CRPF soldiers. CPI (Maoist) central Bihar zone committee spokesperson Pramjeet also confirmed the death of three of its cadres in the encounter preceding the blast and warned of reprisals.
“More attacks will be carried out in the days to come to avenge the death of our cadres,” he said.
The Maoist attack at Bakshi Bigha came as the top brass of the CRPF and Aurangabad police are planning their strategy for fresh operations against the left-wing extremist outfit.