Himalayan News Service

Patna, January 30:

Contrary to their image as terrorists, Maoists in Bihar have expressed concern at the spate of kidnappings of school students in the state and are extending a helping hand to trace the missing children. In a release here, the Communist party of India (Maoist) said it has asked its cadres to raid hideouts of the kidnappers and help recover Kislay, Deepak and Ravikant.

Rakesh, secretary of Bihar-Jharkhand special area committee of the CPI (Maoist), condemned parties for politicising the issue to extract political mileage ahead of next month’s assembly elections. Kislay Kaushal of Delhi Public School, Patna was the first student to go missing on January 19. Ravi Kant of DAV Public School in Biharsharif was reported missing on January 24. The next day, Deepak Kumar of DAV Public School, Bhagalpur, was kidnapped. A fourth student, Sumit Kumar of St Paul Public School in Patna, has also been reported missing since January 25. The abductions have led to widespread public anger against the Rabri Devi government. Students have been at the forefront of the protests, carrying out rallies and marches and asking the governor and president to intervene. Bihar Police has so far arrested six people including the wife of a criminal, Chunnu Thakur, who is in jail, and the mother and sister of his associate Vicky Thakur in connection with Kislay’s kidnapping. Two other suspects, Rizwan and Razzak, have also been apprehended. Police claim they have identified the gang involved in Kislay’s abduction and efforts were on to trace him.