Maoists torch 32 vehicles in Bihar, enforce shutdown

Patna: Maoists burnt 32 vehicles in Bihar’s Gaya district to enforce a two-day shutdown beginning Monday to protest the killing of a woman Maoist leader, police said.

“A group of armed Maoists forcibly stopped vehicles on the busy Grand Trunk road in Gaya and torched them post midnight on Sunday to create panic,” Gaya Senior Superintendent of Police Manu Maharaj said.

Around two dozen trucks were among the vehicles set on fire. The Maoists are also protesting security forces operation against them, police said.

The drivers of the torched vehicles told police officials that armed Maoists asked them to get away from the vehicles before setting them on fire.

Taking serious note of the attack, police headquarters in Patna have directed the district police to intensify combing operations against Maoists.

Additional security forces have rushed to Gaya, considered Maoist-affected area as it shares border with neighbouring Jharkhand, a police official said.

Maoists have given a strike call to protest the killing of a woman Maoist commander in a gun battle with security forces last week.

}