Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Bihar Maoists send out the message

Patna, April 14: Victory in Nepal, celebration in Bihar? It was no “coincidence” that Communist rebels scripted a bloody saga of their deadly presence with gunpowder before a large crowd at a railway station in Bihar on the same day the Maoists in Nepal were headed for a huge win in the constituent Assembly elections yesterday.
Maoists are said have established their presence in at least 22 of the total 38 districts of Bihar. According to Intelligence sources, yesterday’s attack, targeting a crowded rail station at Jamui, was a pointer to what is in store. At Jamui last evening, the rebels killed policemen with impunity and walked away with as many as 45 weapons.
Intelligence agencies believe Maoists have been emboldened by developments in Nepal and have decided to step up their activities.
One source described yesterday’s attack as a “trailer”.
The signs are ominous. Maoists have already given a call for a 24-hour bandh in Bihar, Jharkhand and Chhatisgarh to protest against the killing of their eight cadres in what they term a “fake” encounter. Sources say Bihar and its neighbouring districts are likely to bear the brunt of Maoist activities in the next few days. All police stations in the extremist-affected areas have been placed under maximum alert and reinforcements are being sent to these areas.
Till recently the Maoists were said to be well entrenched in south-central Bihar. But now they seem to have influence all over the state. North Bihar districts such as East and West Champaran, Sitamarhi, Vaishali, Muzaffarpur, Sian Darbhanga, Purnia, Saharsa and Kishanganj that were untouched by extremist activities have now come under the grip of Maoists who claim to enjoy support of their counterparts across the border.
Analysts say that the Maoist triumph in Nepal has boosted the morale of Indian Maoists. “Expect them to repeat Nepal in Bihar and then in the rest of India,” said an Intelligence official.
There has been a alarming rise in incidents of Maoist violence in Bihar. According to an official report, more than 70 incidents of Naxal violence have taken place in the last six months. Barely four days ago, the Maoists shot dead six of their own leaders for deserting the organisation and forming a front to counter their activities in Rohtas district. Alarmed at the worsening law and order situation in the state, the NDA government has effected bureaucratic reshuffles thrice in the past fortnight and appointed a new DGP. But as is usually the case with Bihar, too little it seems has been done too late.

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