M A I N   N E W S

Finally free, abducted cops come home
Sanjay Singh
Tribune News Service

Patna, September 6
The week-long hostage crisis that had kept the entire state administration on its toes finally ended on Monday, with the Naxals freeing the remaining three police officials from their captivity in the morning.

Besides the harried family members of the three cops, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his team of top officers from the police and civil administration heaved a sigh of relief on being informed by the SP, Lakhisarai, that the trio were with him and the doctors had found no physical injury on their body. The instant reaction of Nitish Kumar was “Ant bhala to sab bhala” (All is well that ends well).

Speaking to mediapersons after the return of the hostages, Nitish made an appeal to the Naxals that they should shun violence and join the democratic process as violence cannot be the panacea for any problem. He invited the Naxal outfits to participate in the electoral process during the ensuing Assembly elections in Bihar. RJD Chief Lalu Prasad, too, made a similar appeal to the Maoists.

But in view of this incident, an apprehensive Chief Minister demanded the Election Commission to ensure the deployment of Central Para-Military Force (CPMF) on each and every polling station during the Assembly elections so that the electorate could exercise their right to franchise in a terror-free atmosphere.

SHO Abhay Yadav, probationer sub-inspector, Rupesh Kumar Sinha, ASI, Lukas Tete and Havildar Ahshan Khan were abducted by the armed squad of CPI (Maoist) on Sunday last following a fierce gun battle with the cops in the hilly and forest areas of Lakhisarai district, 160 km away from the state capital.

Seven policemen, including a SHO, were killed during the encounter and 10 other cops injured. The Naxals were demanding freedom of eight of their comrades locked in different jails in exchange of the four cops held hostage by them. But the state government did not pay heed to their demands and made an appeal to them to come for talks. After four days of the incident, the Naxals killed ASI Lukas Tete and threatened to eliminate the remaining three under their captivity if the government did not concede to their demand immediately.

At this point, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar offered to talk to them in person with the assurance that no one would obstruct their arrival and departure to the state capital for the talks. An all-party meeting convened by the CM the very next day also endorsed this proposal.





HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |