Naxalites gunned down a GRP jawan, injured another and snatched away assault rifles and ammunition in a daring afternoon attack on the Bhagalpur-Muzaffarpur Intercity Express near Jamalpur, Bihar, today.
Police said at least 30 armed members of the CPI(Maoist) swooped on the train between Ghoghal and Jamalpur on the Jamalpur-Keul section of East Central Railway. They cut the vacuum pipe, bringing the Muzaffapur-bound train to a halt, and waited till the GRP jawans, on escort duty, alighted from the coach to find out what was wrong. As soon as they did, the rebels started raining bullets.
Munger superintendent of police Sunil Nayak said that though taken by surprise, the jawans retaliated. “The gunfight last for more than 30 minutes,” he said. More than 20 rounds were fired. While GRP constable Ganesh Singh was killed in the encounter, another jawan was wounded.
Though Nayak claimed that no passenger sustained injuries, an unconfirmed reports said two took bullets. A report also claimed that four GRP men were injured in the incident.
After overpowering the jawans, the Naxalites snatched away at least four assault rifles, a carbine and several rounds of ammunition.
Railway officials said the attack delayed the train for three hours. It resumed its journey at 6pm after senior GRP officers and railway officials inspected the site.
A senior railway official admitted that the CPI(Maoist) had spread its tentacles in large parts of the hilly Jamalpur sub-division in Munger district.
Villagers of Abhaypur and Dharhara said they had spotted unidentified people carrying arms on Tuesday. Naxalites often organise training camps on hillocks, they said, and blamed the police for not paying heed to the rising threat from the rebels.