A group of suspected Maoists set ablaze railway property and took two rail officials as hostages in Bihar’s Lakhisarai district, on the interceding night of Tuesday and Wednesday, forcing suspension of services on the Kiul-Jamalpur-Bhagalpur route for hours.Both abducted officials were freed on Wednesday afternoon, almost 16 hours later, near Dharhara forest area, the police said.The Maoists gave a bandh call in Bihar and Jharkhand to protest operations launched against them by the security agencies.According to police, around 15-20 heavily armed Maoists attacked Masudan railway station on Tuesday and torched the control room, documents and some railway equipment. This hit the movement of trains in the area. “They also abducted assistant station manager Mahesh Kumar and a porter Nirendra Mandal, and threatened to kill them if the plying of trains was restored on the route. Hence, the movement of trains, which was restored on Wednesday morning, was suspended again after an hour,” said a senior official of the East Central Railways.Among the trains stranded at different stations were the Howrah-Gaya Express, Farakka Express, Jainagar-Howrah passenger, Muzaffarpur-Bhagalpur Jansewa Express and Bhagalpur-Danapur Intercity Express, while several others were diverted. The Maoists also killed an “up-Mukhiya” Virendra Koda in the district on Wednesday.

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Maoists abduct two rail officials