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Bihar hostage crisis: Maoists set new deadline

New Delhi: The Bihar hostage crisis doesn’t seem to be ending anytime soon as the Maoists have set a new deadline of 10 am on Thursday.

Union Home Minister P Chidambaram has earlier passed the buck on the issue of four Bihar policemen kidnapped by Naxals saying it is for Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to take a call on the hostage situation.

“This is for the state Chief Minister to take a call on. Nitish Kumar should do something. He is the man on the ground, he has all the facts. We will support him in whatever decision he takes. But he has not approached us,” Chidambaram replied when asked about the hostage crisis in Bihar during a press conference in New Delhi on Wednesday.

Naxals abducted four Bihar policemen in the state’s Lakhisarai district on Sunday following a fierce gunbattle. They also issued an ultimatum to the state government to halt all combing operations in the district by 4 pm on Wednesday.

The Naxals have threatened to execute all the four policemen if the state government did not stop search and combing operations against the rebels in Lakhisarai.

The state government has, however, launched a major combing, search and rescue operation in the area. Army helicopters are being used in the operation.

Naxals had abducted police officials earlier too. In October 2009 Naxals beheaded Jharkhand Special Branch officer Francis Induvar after abducting him and a few days later they kidnapped a West Bengal police officer Atindranath Dutta.

Dutta was later released in return for 14 arrested tribal women.

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