|OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT|
Patna, Dec. 20: Security forces have launched intensive search in three rebel-hit districts, on the Indo-Nepal border, following the death of three CRPF jawan in an encounter with Maoist guerrillas in Motihari last night.
"Paramilitary forces are carrying out intensive combing operations in East Champaran, Muzaffarpur and Sheohar districts," said the inspector-general (operations) in Bihar, S.K. Bhardwaj.
Talking to The Telegraph, he added: "The forces have not yet returned. So, we can not give you the exact figure of the number of arrests as of now."
The CRPF team engaged in crossfire with the guerrillas at Kadma under Rajepur police station in East Champaran district. A team of 150 cadre was passing through Lakshminia villager in Sheohar in the wake of a police raid there, when the force found them. The Maoists who were heavily armed and far more in number in comparison to security forces, exchanged rounds of fire with the CRPF men killing the latter's deputy commandant, Vinay Kumar Kapil, and two other jawans.
Last night there were reports of a Maoist being killed in the crossfire, but today the villagers identified the slain person to be a Kadma resident.
Three other villagers, including a girl, were also injured in the crossfire. Maoists have been protesting the death of their comrade Nagina Majhi in Beur central jail here on Saturday night across the state, including the Bihar jails.
Today, they gave a call for a 24-hour Bihar bandh. "No untoward incident has been reported so far from any part of the state," said a home department spokesperson.
Reportedly, the 150-odd cadre divided themselves in three groups and launched a multi-pronged attack on the security forces.
However, with more re-enforcement reaching in late last night, the security forces succeeded in breaking the groups.
Sources in the BSF and the CRPF reveal that the Naxalites have added more fire power particularly in areas under Sitamarhi, Sheohar, East and West Champaran and Muzaffapur districts bordering Nepal because of a growing nexus with their Nepal counterparts.