Bihar hostage crisis: One cop's body found
Patna: The bullet-riddled body of Lucas Tete, one of the four Bihar policemen abducted by Maoists five days ago, was found in a forest Friday, a day after the rebels claimed to have killed sub-inspector Abhay Kumar Yadav, police said.
The body found in a forest in Lakhisarai district is of Lucas Tete and not of Abhay Kumar Yadav as reported earlier, Munger's Deputy Inspector General of Police Shah Rukh Majeed confirmed.
According to local news channels, Tete's body was found near Simratali forest under Chanan police station in Lakhisarai.
Villagers reportedly said Maoists had left a handwritten poster near the body, warning that they would not talk with the government any more.
Additional Director General of Police (Headquarters) P.K. Thakur told reporters in Patna it was unfortunate that Tete was killed and police operations were on to rescue the others. He said that combing operations were intensified in Lakhisarai, Jamui, Banka and Munger districts Friday.
Tete's body was first taken to a nearby police station and then to the Lakhisarai district headquarters. It will be later taken to Patna, where his wife and three daughters had arrived from Ranchi, where they lived, an official said.
There is no confirmation about the fate of Yadav.
In Patna, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar held a high-level meeting with top officials to cha
lk out a strategy for the release of the other abducted policemen.
Maoists had claimed to have killed Yadav around 4 pm Thursday, six hours after their second deadline expired at 10 a.m. The killing took place following a decision by a 'jan adalat' - a kangaroo court - a Maoist spokesperson had said.
Four Bihar policemen - Tete, Yadav, Rupesh Kumar Sinha and Ehsan Khan - were kidnapped by Maoists after a six-hour gunfight in Lakhisarai district Sunday. The gunbattle left seven policemen dead and 10 injured.
Maoists claimed the gunfight was in retaliation for the killing of their leader Cherukuri Rajkumar alias Azad and a journalist on the night of July 1-2 in Andhra Pradesh.
The rebels said the four kidnapped policemen would be killed unless eight jailed Maoist leaders were released.
Security forces, including Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troopers, have raided dozens of villages in Dharhara block in Munger district to trace the kidnapped policemen.
Police officials said that the state government requested for three more helicopters from the Border Security Force (BSF) as one helicopter was already engaged in operations against Maoists since Tuesday.
After claiming to have killed Yadav, the Maoists threatened that the fate of the other three policemen would be decided by 10 am Friday if the state government failed to initiate a dialogue or negotiate with them.
Avinash, a self-proclaimed Maoist spokesperson, told a local TV news channel: "The Bihar government compelled us to kill Yadav as the second deadline expired."
The Maoists have also warned the Bihar government of more attacks if the operations against the rebels did not stop immediately.
A senior police official said here that the government seemed in no mood to bow to the Maoists' demands after Tete's killing.