Banka, Dec. 7: Fear of retaliation has forced Bihar's intelligence agencies and forces to sound a high alert after the Banka fast-track court awarded death sentence to five Maoists — all from the Yadav community — yesterday.
This was the first-ever death sentence awarded by a court in eastern Bihar. For now, intelligence department has alerted officials and officers of Jamui, Bhagalpur, Munger and Banka especially, and has kept a watch on vulnerable areas — railway property, police stations, government offices and public places.
On December 6, 2007, Banka fast-track court of district and sessions judge Gangotri Ram Tripathi sentenced Umesh, Naresh, Dhaneshwar, Suresh and Ashok to death for attacking Anandipur police outpost, under Chandan police station, on November 3, 2005.
The premeditated attack was made during the popular Kali Puja mela and resulted in the death of the outpost officer in charge, Bhawan Singh (a sub-inspector) and two constables Nityanand Kumar and Braj Bhusan Kumar. Three other constables sustained injuries, while Maoists looted pistols, rifles and cartridges. However, the attack's lone survivor, police driver Uday Kant Jha, managed to escape unhurt and lodged an FIR with Chandan (Anandpur) police station.
Talking to The Telegraph today, Banka superintendent of police (SP) Dhrub Narayan Gupta said after the attack, the police nabbed five accused and filed chargesheets against 12. Seven accused are still absconding.
Gupta conceded that chances of a "retaliation" was possible as one of those found guilty, Dhaneshwar, is the son-in-law of Maoist leader, late Balgovind Yadav.
Balgovind was arrested by the police in 2006 and died under "mysterious" conditions in the Bhagalpur central jail.
After Balgovind's death, Maoists damaged tracks on the Kiul-Bhagalpur loop and tried to damage Narganjo railway-bridge on the Kiul-Asansol main section of the Eastern Railway.
Dhaneshwar, hailing from Gouripur, was arrested with his two brothers — Suresh and Naresh. Police suspect that Ashok, a native of Jamui, was especially called in for the "operation", while Umesh lured in the police to Goura Kali Temple on the fateful evening. "Arvind Yadav and Late Balagovind were the masterminds," said Banka SP Gupta. Arvind Yadav, in his confession, admitted his involvement in attacks both in Bihar and Jharkhand. "With his statements we have more clues. We have already started to work on them to apprehend the culprits in other cases," the officer added.
In Banka, high alerts have been sounded in Kotoriya, Chandan and Belhar police stations and also in Anandpur, Jaipur, Suia and Kesher out posts in the Naxalite-hit areas. Similar alerts have been sounded in Munger, Jamui and Bhagalpur.
Intelligence agencies have also received reports of a recent meeting organised in Bhimbandh sanctuary, once a popular tourist destination in Munger and where former superintendent of police K.C. Surendarbabu was shot dead in 2005. The major meet was reportedly attended by 200-odd Maoists from Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Bengal, Jharkhand and Nepal. "It discussed strengthening the support base in eastern Bihar's districts," intelligence sources disclosed.
Friday, December 7, 2007