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The Indian Herald

The Indian Herald
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April 23, 2009

Maoist Menace: Naxals hijack train in Jharkhand, later release hostages

The Maoist guerillas held a passenger train hostage in Latehar district in Jharkhand.

The incident occurred on the eve of the second phase of polling though later they released the 200-odd passengers.

The train carrying nearly 700 passengers was on its way from Mughal Sarai to Barkana.


But the Naxals took control of the train in the forest areas of Hehegada. Heavily armed left-wing militants had boarded the train at Barwadih.

After the state government tried to talk to the Naxals and made attempts for negotiations, the Maoists let the train go at around 11:50 am. IThe incident of holding up a train has come as an embarrassment to the Centre.

The incident has sent shockwaves across the county. Naxalites said that it was a symbolic protest and they did not intend to harm the passengers. The Maoists were upset with a police encounter recently.

Officials claimed that Naxalites were killed in the cross-fire while local residents (and Naxals) say that ordinary villagers were shot dead in cold blood. It was to protest this incident that Naxalites seized the train.

They had given a call for bandh (strike). Though polling had been completed in this region in the first phase of election, the latest incident comes just when several regions across the country are going to polls the next day.

Besides, Palamu station was bombed on the the same day. Trucks were set afire on the Grand Trunk (GR) Road, causing the death of one person. Polling booths and school buildings were also attacked today. Earlier on April 16 Naxalites had struck at 14 places, killing 19 persons across the country.

TIH Bureau



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