Maoists continued to unleash violence on the second day of their two-day shutdown, setting ablaze a rail office in Bihar’s Lakhisarai district after briefly taking six officials hostage, blowing up block offices and telecom towers besides bombing a school in neighbouring Jharkhand.
In a midnight attack, around 150 ultras stormed Banshipur railway station in the important Patna-Kiul-Jhajha section under the Danapur division of the East Central Railway and torched a railway panel room besides destroying the traffic control system, railway officials said.
The ultras stormed the station and took six railway officials, including the station master and assistant station master, on duty as hostages for some time but let them off after warning them of dire consequences if they did not follow the extremists’ diktat to stop movement of trains during their agitation, the officials said, adding rail traffic in the section was halted for over six hours as a result.
In a separate incident, Maoists detonated dynamites on a track near Ghodparan railway station near Simtala in Jamui district, railway officials said.
A portion of the track was damaged in the explosion severely affecting rail traffic on Kiul-Jhaja section. Several trains have been suspended and engineers are trying to restore traffic on the section.
In Munger district, over 100 ultras raided a block office building at Sangrampur in the wee hours and detonated dynamites. Portions of the building collapsed in the explosion which also destroyed furniture and gutted revenue documents.
CPI (Maoist) activists left pamphlets on the spot owning responsibility for it.
Superintendent of Police (Munger) along with several other officials reached the blast site and launched a joint combing operation with the Special task force, special auxiliary police and Bihar Military Police personnel.
In a separate incident, the Maoists raided a newly-built block office at Bandhu Bagicha in the district and set afire important files and documents.
Raids were on in the area to track down the naxalites.
An Aurangabad report said Maoist rebels partially destroyed the tower of a private telecom company at Padaiya village in Aurangabad district early today. The Naxalites exploded bombs in which a portion of the tower collapsed, officials said.
The ultras also dug up roads near Amba in the district to disrupt movement of traffic.
In another incident, Maoists raided Bankepur Bazaar and blasted mobile tower of private company in Gaya district early today.
In neighbouring Jharkhand, Maoists blew up a school building in Chatra district.
“A group of armed Maoists packed dynamites inside the Nawadih Middle School and triggered the blast, damaging its three rooms,” Superintendent of Police, D B Sharma, told reporters in Chatra.
The shutdown has impacted rural Jharkhand, affecting transport and production of various minerals while buses remained off road to avoid damage to life and property.
However, the bandh failed to evoke any response in urban areas.
The Maoists have called for a two-day bandh to protest against the Centre’s alleged efforts to put down their campaign by force.
Yesterday, the rebels had unleashed a wave of attacks in which a Jharkhand Party member was killed in West Bengal.
The rebels had also blown up railway tracks and set ablaze trucks in Jharkhand besides blasting a telecom tower in Bihar.