Patna police have rescued two brothers kidnapped from the Patna airport premises after an encounter with the alleged abductors in the Maoist-dominated Kajra hills in Lakhisarai district, about 160km east of Patna.
The whole operation was led by Patna superintendent of police Manu Maharaaj. An IPS officer from 2005 batch, he is known as Singham of Patna.
To rescue the Delhi brothers, Manu Maharaj formed a team of 100 policemen and walked 15 km inside the treacherous terrain. He also oversaw the operation for 10 hours.
According to Manu Maharaaj, when the police entered the Kajra forest, the abductors tried to stop the police team. “On seeing the force, the abductors started indiscriminate firing. The police also retaliated, forcing the kidnappers to retreat leaving behind the two captives,” he said, adding that sophisticated weapons such as mortars were used by the police during the operation.
Manu Maharaj is well known for his unique style of working. He always keeps on smiling even under tough circumstances. He generally avoids using harsh words against suspect. It is said that Nitish Kumar loves him just because of Manu’s belief to not go for encounter to finish the crime.
The area from where the brothers were recovered is considered to be the hotbed of Maoists. In 2010, a Bihar Military Police jawan was killed while three other policemen were held captive by the rebels in this very area.
The Sharma brothers – Suresh (40) and Kapil (27) – are sons of Delhi businessman Babulal Sharma. They were kidnapped soon after their arrival at Jayaprakash Narayan Airport on the invitation of Ranjit Mandal known as Ranjit Don, who had lured them to Patna on the pretext of tender-related work.
Ranjit Don managed to give the slip during the operation at Simra Talli village. Five of Ranjit’s associates were captured for alleged involvement in the abduction of the brothers.
Acting on a tip-off, a joint team of the Patna and Lakhisarai police accompanied by the Central Reserve Police Force conducted a raid on the hideouts of the kidnappers and rescued the victims, a police officer said.
“Very few people prefer to go inside the jungle. It’s a safe haven for kidnappers and the Maoists,” said an investigating officer.
The police got leads after the interrogation of an employee of Sharmas’ firm in Delhi. The employee, said to be a resident of Munger, was in constant touch with the alleged kidnappers. Delhi’s Crime branch team was also deployed to assist the Bihar Police team.
Recalling their ordeal, the two brothers said that 4-5 gun totting kidnappers always guarded them, used to beat them and gave them bare minimum food and water for their survival.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who is touring Deogarh and Dumka in Jharkhand, has praised the policemen for rescuing the two brothers.