Hostage crisis in eastern India takes turn as rebels drop demand for releasing comrades

21:57, September 02, 2010      

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The hostage crisis in the eastern Indian state of Bihar took an interesting turn Thursday when extreme left-wing Naxals dropped their demand for releasing eight of their jailed comrades.

The Naxal guerrillas instead asked the Bihar government to provide a safe exit in the Lakhisarai district. Meanwhile, all four policemen abducted by the Naxals are reported to be safe and healthy.

The security forces are at present combing in the hilly terrains in Lakhisarai and its adjoining Jamui and Munger districts to rescue the policemen.

It is being reported that Naxals have changed their demand owing to a slow response from the state government regarding the release of their jailed comrades.

Sources claimed that unofficial talks between the rebels and the state government have also begun and the sudden change of stance from Naxals is a fallout of the government's negotiation with them.

All movement of the security forces in Lakhisari, Munger and Jamui districts has been halted till further order.

The development comes hours after a second deadline set by Naxals expired Thursday morning. The rebels then said that the fate of four Bihar policemen held captive by them would now be decided by a "jan adalat" or kangaroo court.

The pressure increased manifolds on the Nitish Kumar government in Bihar with the families of the cops desperately pleading for help.

The Naxals have also warned the Bihar government of more violent attacks if the operations against the rebels were not immediately stopped.

However, Bihar Director General of Police Neelmani said security forces would rescue the policemen soon. According to an official source, Nitish Kumar is supervising the rescue operations himself.

Source: Xinhua


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