Even as the Bihar police intensified operations against Naxals in the forests of Lakhisarai on Friday, the news of the killing of one of the four hostages by the rebels sent shock waves in the corridors of the State government.

The police found the bullet-riddled body of Havildar Lukas Tete on a road at Simratalli Korasi, under the Chanan police station, in the early hours of Friday.

ADG (Headquarters) P.K. Thakur said Tete, who hailed from Simdega district of Jharkhand, was shot in the chest on Thursday night. A leaflet foundnear the site said he was killed as the government did not comply with the Naxalites' demand for release of eight jailed Naxal leaders. The Naxals also threatened to kill the other captives if the government failed to act soon.

Mr. Thakur said the incident only served to “strengthen the resolve of the police, who would fight harder to rescue their captured colleagues and bring the Naxals to book.”

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar conducted frantic meetings after the killing. He has called for an all-party meeting for Saturday.

At least three “emergency review” meetings were held in the day. Two of them, conducted at the Chief Minister's residence, were attended by DGP Neelmani and Director-General of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) Vikram Srivastava. Mr. Kumar held another high-level meeting with Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi, senior Ministers and top officials, including the Chief Secretary.

Sources in the police and the government said the meetings focussed on intensified action against the Naxals. CRPF and Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) units were pressed into service, and two helicopters, provided by the BSF and the Union Home Ministry, were deployed for intensive search operations in the forests of Dharhara, Kajra and Bhimbandh in the Jamui-Munger-Lakhisarai belt.

Sources in Lakhisarai said 300 Naxals from Chhattisgarh's Dantewada district were said to be present in the Dharhara range in Lakhisarai. They hinted that security forces had surrounded the rebels on three sides.

Earlier on Thursday, Avinash, a self-proclaimed Naxal spokesperson, told the local media that Naxals had killed sub-inspector Abhay Yadav and dumped the body near the Abhaypur police station. But the police could not find Mr.Yadav's body.

He also warned that the other captives would meet the same fate by 10 a.m. Friday if the government did not concede the rebels' demand.