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Railway stations on alert after Maoists attack

Over 100 Maoists attack the Jhajha railway station on the busy Patna-Howrah mainline section and kill 6 people.
IANS | By HT Correspondent, Patna
UPDATED ON APR 14, 2008 12:02 PM IST

Railway stations across Bihar were on alert on Monday as the railway police hastily increased patrolling and deployed additional forces a day after six people were killed in a surprise attack by Maoist guerrillas on an important station.

Over 100 Maoists attacked the Jhajha railway station in Jamui district on the busy Patna-Howrah mainline section on Sunday evening and killed four security personnel, a vendor and a railway official before looting the police armoury and escaping with arms and ammunition.

Shocked by the attack that had virtually caught them napping, the Government Railway Police (GRP) and Railway Protection Force (RPF) issued fresh orders to increase patrolling, deploy additional forces at railway stations and launch search operations.

"This decision was taken on late Sunday as a precautionary measure to avoid a repeat of an incident like Jhajha in Maoist hit districts," said an official source at the police headquarters here.

"All the GRP stations under Patna railway district have been put on maximum alert after the Maoist attack on Jhajha," added Patna superintendent of railway police Ravindran Sankaran.

Like in similar attacks in the past, Maoists forced railway station officials to leave before attacking.

"Maoists first surrounded the GRP office on the platform and opened indiscriminate firing. They also targeted railway booking office, an ATM and a RPF post," said an official.

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