Maoists abduct railway employees in Bihar, free them after 16 hours
The Maoists freed three employees after an hour, but took away assistant station master Mukesh Kumar Paswan and porter Nirendra Mandal of Masudan railway station in Lakhisarai district . Paswan and Mandal were freed after 16 hoursindia Updated: Dec 20, 2017 18:27 IST
Suspected Maoists abducted five railway employees, including an assistant station master (ASM) and a porter, from Masudan railway station in Lakhisarai district of east Bihar and set on fire the signalling panel, disrupting railway traffic early Wednesday morning.
Around 25 Maoists, including women, attacked the Masudan railway station, 180 km from state capital Patna, in the wee hours, taking railway officials totally by surprise, said an officer of Government Railway Police (GRP), Jamalpur.
The Maoists freed three of them, the loco pilot, assistant loco pilot and the guard of Gaya-Jamalpur passenger train after one hour, but took away ASM Mukesh Kumar Paswan and porter Nirendra Mandal . Paswan and Mandal were freed after 16 hours, police said.
The attack comes on a day when Maoists had called for a 48-hour bandh, starting Tuesday midnight, across Bihar and neighbouring Jharkhand in protest against the ‘Operation Greenhunt’ launched by security forces.
As the Maoists were taking them away, the panic-stricken ASM called up Maldah divisional railway manager (DRM), saying they would be killed if trains continued plying on the Kiul-Bhagalpur rail section.
The left wing extremists also set ablaze the signalling panel and threw official papers into the fire, the GRP officer said.
He said railway traffic was disrupted on Jamalpur-Kiul section for about an hour due to torching of the signalling panel. Farakka Express, Banka Express, Jainagar-Howrah passenger, Muzaffarpur-Bhagalpur Jansewa Express, Bhagalpur-Danapur Intercity Express, Howrah-Gaya Express were stranded at different stations as a result, the officer said. The movement of trains was restored after the fire was extinguished, he added.
Immediately after he was freed, Paswan left for his in-laws’ place at Dasrathpur , while Mandal was at Gangania, his native village, the police said, adding that both the villages were in the neighbouring Munger district.
Munger superintendent of police (SP) Ashish Bharti said Paswan had been detained for interrogation.
Additional director general of police (headquarters) Sanjiv Kumar Singhal said a joint team of the Central Reserve Police Force, Sashatra Seema Bal and the special task force of Bihar police had launched an operation in forest and hilly areas against the Maoists involved in the attack. The operation was being conducted under the supervision of inspector general (operations) Kundan Krishnan and IG (railway) Amit Kumar.
On August 3 also, heavily armed Maoist rebels had abducted three gatemen of railway level crossings in Lakhisarai district, disrupting train movement for nearly seven hours on the Patna-Howrah section.