Bihar officials in Maoist areas alerted

Bihar sounded an alert following the abduction of a collector of Orissa`s Malkangiri district.

Updated: Feb 19, 2011, 14:50 PM IST

Patna: Top officials in Maoist-hit districts of Bihar have been asked to be cautious while touring rural area in the wake of the dramatic abduction of a district collector in Orissa.

"The government had made it clear to the officials to take their security seriously," an official in Chief Minister Nitish Kumar`s office said on Saturday.

The officials, particularly district magistrates and divisional commissioners, have been told to visit rural areas with enough security personnel in view of the Malkangiri kidnapping.

Senior officials in Maoist areas have been told to avoid muddy tracks, use anti-landmine vehicles and not to drive over culverts and small bridges -- and instead walk across.

Bihar Police chief Neelmani said: "The district magistrates have to assess their security needs while going to rural areas. It is for them to decide their own security level."

Neelmani said that the Maoists abducted the Malkangiri district collector in Orissa due to lack of security when he was visiting an interior area.

As many as 33 of Bihar`s 38 districts are hit by Maoist violence.

IANS