Anti-Naxal operations to continue in Bihar: Pillai

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Kollam, Sep 6 (ANI): Union Home Secretary GK Pillai on Monday said that the ongoing operations against Naxals in Bihar will continue, even as Chief Minister Nitish Kumar appealed to the rebels to shun violence and rejoin the mainstream.

Talking to reporters here, Pillai said: "The crackdown on Maoists in Bihar would continue.

He expressed relief after the three policemen were released.

"We are glad that these policemen have been released, and we strongly feel that killing of one policeman was for no reason. We are still positive that some solution will come one day," he said.

Earlier, Nitish said: "We are relieved at the release of three police officials. The Maoists must leave the path of violence and come forward for talks. Taking hostages is not the right way. I appeal to them to join the mainstream."

"We were firm for unconditional talks. We regret that the Maoists have rejected our offer for talks. We regret the death of Lucas Tete. The released cops are being taken to their families," he added, while expressing grief over the death of Tete.

Earlier today, the Maoists released the three abducted Bihar policemen in Lakhisarai District, bringing an end to the nine-day-old hostage crisis.

The three policemen ---- Abhay Prasad Yadav, Rupesh Kumar Sinha and Ehshan Khan, were freed by the Maoists on the border of Kajra-Chanan forests, about 165 kilometers from Patna.

"All the three kidnapped policemen have been released by the Maoists from the Kajra-Chanan forest in Lakhisarai district after the police sealed the escape routes of the militants in the forests," Director General of Police Neelmani told media. "The condition of the three policemen is fine," he added.

The four policemen were taken hostage on August 29 during an encounter with the Naxals in Lakhisarai. he Naxals killed one of the policemen, Hawaldar Lukas Tete, after the first deadline ended and his body was found in on Friday morning in the jungles of Lakhisarai district.

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

The encounter began on Sunday evening when over 150 armed Maoists attacked search teams of the Bihar police combing the area following intelligence reports of the presence of the Maoists in the forest area. (ANI)

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