PATNA: The killing of four Maoists in an encounter by security forces in West Champaran’s Valmiki Tiger Reserve (VTR) on Friday has once again brought the focus on left-wing extremists still active in some districts bordering Nepal.
Apprehending a backlash from the CPI-Maoists over the killing of their active members and seizure of sophisticated weapons, the state police headquarters on Friday directed all SPs in north Bihar districts to keep a close watch on red rebels operating under their jurisdiction.
Besides West Champaran and East Champaran, districts such as Sitamarhi, Sheohar, Muzaffarpur and Vaishali have been put on high alert. “We are cautious and keeping surveillance on movement of the members of the banned outfit,” Sitamarhi SP Anil Kumar said.
Mahindwara and Belsand in Sitamarhi, which is close to the India-Nepal border, are considered to be hotbeds ofMaoist
activities. Similarly, areas falling under Tariyani, Shyampur Bhatahan and Purnahia police stations in Sheohar districts are affected. Madhuban and Dhaka in East Champaran district had earlier witnessed Naxal-related incidents.
Acting Vaishali SP Pushkar Anand said that villages under Hajipur Sadar, Patepur, Jandaha and Tisiauta police stations in the districts had earlier witnessed Naxal-related incidents, which showed their influence on local residents. “The SHOs of the police stations concerned have been asked to verify how many of them were out on bail,” he told TOI over the phone on Saturday.
Sources in the state police headquarters said those killed in the VRT forest in West Champaran were part of the Maoists’ group, which had envisaged a detailed strategy to impart training to newly recruited cadres. However, it is yet to be verified whether Maoists from Nepal were also present at the congregation.
Top ranking leaders from Darbhanga, Sheohar, Sitamarhi, East Champaran and West Champaran in Bihar besides some from Jharkhand had assembled in VTR forests. Ram Babu Ram alias Rajan, who belonged to the East Champaran-Sheohar region, however, managed to escape unhurt in the gunbattle.
A source in the state intelligence wing said, “The Maoists have focused on strengthening their base in north Bihar districts, especially those sharing their borders with Nepal in the wake of stepped up police operations against ultras in south and central Bihar.”