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Despite the tall claims of police that eastern Bihar districts are free from Maoists as the police managed to drive them back, the rebels today compelled Indian railways to withdraw movements of trains on Kiul-Sahebganj loop section over more than 10 hours.
The rebels today had the opportunity for bargaining with the railway officials with two hostages, Mukesh Kumar Paswan, assistant station master, Masudan railway station halt station and porter Nirendra Mandal whom they picked up last night from the premises of the sleepy remote railway station in between Jamalpur-Abhaypur on Kiul-Sahabganj loop section. Masudan is falling under Lakhisarai district’s territory.
However train services resumed after more than 10 hours today on the section with the recovery of the abducted assistant station master and the porter of railway halt station at around 4 pm this evening.
CPI (Maoists) who called for a 48 hours bandh starting Tuesday midnight, across Bihar and neighbouring Jharkhand in protest against the ‘Operation Greenhunt’ launched by security forces, abducted loco pilot, assistant loco pilot and the guard of Gaya-Jamalpur passenger train last midnight and subsequently set them free. But they took away the two. The rebels also set the optical signal panel in the halt station fire resulting complete disrupting railway traffic and signal system.
Train services on this section remained disrupted from last midnight after the armed Maoists raided Masudan railway halt station. Shankar Jha, superintendent of railway police (SRP), Jamalpur, told that 4 Maoists among them 2 were girls get alighted from Masudan railway halt from Jamalpur passenger at around 11.15 pm last night and asked the ASM, Mukesh about the movements of the trains and asked him to follow them. Other rebels were guarding the station from safe distance and they went back towards the hills range located south direction with Mukesh and others including the porter, loco drivers and the crews of Jamalpur passenger train. However, the rebels set the crew members free but Mukesh and the porter remained tresses till the evening, the SRP said.
Sushil Man Singh Kopdhe, inspector general of police, Bhagalpur zone who rushed to the site however said that Mukesh was set free by the rebels at around 12 pm this noon and he somehow feel to the house of his in-laws at Jagdishpur village near Dharhara in Munger. “He reached his in-laws hosue by 1 pm this afternoon but since he was instructed by the rebels not to inform police by 6 pm this evening about his release, Mukesh who was in panic, preferred to be tight lipped. But on the basis of tower location of his mobile, we traced him from his in-laws house at Jagdishpur,” Kopdhe told. When asked about the porter, thye IG said that he might be reached his house at Ganganiya (Bhagalpur) as the tower location of his mobile suggested so. However, a GRP official said that the daughter of the porter has confirmed the safe arrival of her father at Ganganiya village.
Reveling the most interesting part of the entire episode, the a senior GPR official at Jamalpur disclosed that at around 5 am this morning when the detained Jamalpur passenger train was moved to Jamalpur, the rebels called the divisional railway manager (DRM), Malda, Mohit Sinha on phone and threatened him not to resume traffic. They also threatened to kill the two abducted persons (Mukesh & the porter) who were with them if trains will start running on this section. “The rebels for confirmation, arranged the conversation of the abducted persons with the DRM. The panic-stricken abducted persons requested the DRM not to play trains, otherwise they would have been killed by the rebels,” narrated the GRP officer.
Many important trains were stranded at different stations and the passengers of the trains were harassed lots. Only Delhi bond Up Vikramshila Express train was diverted via Munger-Begusarai-Patna today.
It is to be mentioned here that early on August 3, armed Maoist had abducted three gatemen of railway level crossings in Lakhisarai district, disrupting train movement for nearly seven hours. A senior railway officer said that the outfits time to time use the adversity of the topography of this region. “There are several such incidents were reported earlier from Kiul-Asansol main section of eastern railways and railway men from Narganjo were abducted. The topography and inaccessibility of the areas from which the tracks passing, are really difficulty for the security personnel to keep constant watch. The areas also known as the strong holds of the outlaws,” he pointed out.