June 23, 2009 3:38:13 pm
Maoists exploded bombs and opened fire at a court premises in Bihar,injuring an officer and two policemen,and launched attacks in Jharkhand and West Bengal on the second day of their bandh in five states to protest the Lalgarh action.
They blew up a Panchayat building in Jharkhand and a community centre and a mobile phone tower in Bihar. They also made an abortive bid to disrupt the supply line of the security forces involved in the Lalgarh operation by detonating a landmine at Chara village between Midnapore and Kirakata in West Bengal.
In a daring operation,about 50 armed rebels attacked the civil court premises in Lakhisarai,about 165 kms from Patna,exploding bombs and opening fire. Deputy Development Commissioner Rajiv Ranjan and two policemen received injuries.
Ranjan sustained wounds when chunks of wood flying from a smashed window hit him,District Magistrate P K Jha said. He was given first aid at his residence,he said.
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A constable and a constable,who suffered splinter injuries,were rushed to the government hospital in Lakhisarai,Jha said,adding that the police posse posted there was outnumber by the naxals.
The Maoists decamped with a carbine and two rifles of the policemen after breaking open a lock-up and freeing their self-styled commander Babulal Besra of Giridih,he said.
A group of about 20 armed Maoists descended on the vacant panchayat bhavan at around 3 am and blasted it after planting explosives in the building,Superintendent of Police Mohit Bundus told reporters in Medininagar in Jharkhand.
The roof of the panchayat building was blown off and its walls cracked as a result of the explosion,Bundu said,adding that the entire furniture there was completely destroyed.
Following the blast,security personnel launched a search operation neach Chahapur,about 190 kms from Ranchi. Scores of CPI(Maoist) ultras swooped on Jhikatia village in Bihar’s Aurangabad district shortly after midnight and set off dynamites to blow up the community centre building,police said. However,no one was injured as the building was empty when the blast was triggered.
The ultra blew up the tower of a private telephone company at Kharasi village in extremist-affected Gaya district,also around midnight. The tower,which is located closed to the Jharkhand border,was badly damaged,police said.
The two-day bandh call was given on Sunday by the naxalites in West Bengal,Jharkhand,Orissa,Bihar and Chhattisgarh.
Shops and markets remained closed and vehicles kept off the roads in Maoist-affected areas of Lalgarh,Binpur,Pirakata and Jhargram in West Midnapore district in West Bengal.
Normal life also remained hit in Bankura and Purulia areas in the state. Official sources said patrolling along railway tracks has been intensified in Adra division of South Eastern Railway after a landmine was detected at Birandi station.
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