Bihar hostage crisis: Nitish appeals Naxals to come forward for talks

Patna, Sep.4 (ANI): In an attempt to prevent any harm to the abducted policemen from Naxals, the Bihar Chief Minister, Nitish Kumar, on Saturday evening appealed to them to come forward and hold talks.

After holding an all-party meeting in Bihar to find out solution to bring an end to the hostage crisis, Nitish Kumar said: "If the Government is willing, the Naxals should come forward to hold talks."

Talking to reporters, just after convening the all-party meet, in the evening, Kumar said: "We want face-to-face talks with Naxals. Let Naxals decide who their representative will be."

Kumar assured a safe passage for Naxals to hold talks,"Safe passage will be given to Naxals for talks," he said.

However, he said: "We appeal to maoists to release the hostages."

He also expressed condolences to the families of police officers.

Earlier in day, Maoists had assured that the three other hostages with them were safe and called for talks as "time was running out" .

In morning, the Bihar Police claimed to have arrested two senior Naxal leaders during a combing operation near the jungles of Lakhisarai.

Police claimed one of the arrested was the mastermind behind the abduction of four Bihar policemen, one of whom was killed on Thursday.

The alleged mastermind was reportedly identified as Pintu, a senior Naxal leader and the other leader identified as Bahadur Yadav.

Police claimed both of them confessed to their involvement in the kidnapping of four Bihar Police officials.

The duo was arrested from Gurmaha forest in Barhat police station area of Jamui district during the search operations.

Pintu was reported be a Maoist area commander of Luxmipur-Simultala area. They have been produced in a Banka court.

In another development, Maoists today said that the three other hostages with them were safe and called for talks as "time was running out".

On Sunday, four policemen were taken hostage during an encounter with Naxals in Lakhisarai, 150 kilometres east of Patna.

One of the policemen, Hawaldar Lukas Tete, was killed by the Naxals after the first deadline ended and his body was found in on Friday morning in the jungles of Lakhisari district.

In a note that they left on this body, the Naxals threatened to do away with the three remaining hostages if eight of their comrades are not released from jail. (ANI)

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