The armed ultras stopped the train near Posaita Station in Chakradharpur division of the SE Railway last night at around 9.50 PM, pasted posters in all the compartments in support of their 24-hour Bharat Bandh on May 16 and hung the can bomb kept in a bag in front of the engine before escaping.
The train with passengers then left for Manoharpur, a distance of 40 km from Posaita station, where the police was informed of the incident. Singh said a quick response team of the CRPF reached Manoharpur and detached the engine before the passengers were asked to vacate. The bomb was defused by security personnel, and passengers were accommodated in the Howrah-Kurla express.
Suspecting involvement of the Habil Charwa and Sandip-headed squad in the incident, the district armed police force and CRPF launched a massive manhunt since last night and came across a Maoist squad near Salai in the early hours, Singh said. During the 45-minute encounter in the forest near Salai village in the extremist-affected West Singhbhum district in the early hours today, both sides fired at each other intermittently, Police Superintendent AK Singh said. However, no casualty was reported on the police side, Singh said.
A combing operation was on. The encounter took place when the Maoists started firing at the approaching security personnel who took positions and fired back, Singh said. The posters, pasted during the 20-minute detention, appealed to the people to make the bandh, called to protest against alleged police atrocities and anti-Naxal operation, a success. He claimed that no disruption of train services had taken place during the entire operation.