Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar has shown great resolve in handling the police abduction crisis. One of the four policemen kidnapped in the state’s Lakhisarai district on Sunday was murdered by Maoists on Thursday.
Kumar said while he was open to any talks with the Maoists, he condemned their violent means to achieve political goals. He has, so far, not agreed to their main demand: the release of eight of their fellow terrorists. He may be forced to give in at some point, especially if Maoists continue to kill their captives one by one. The pressure from the families of the policemen and live coverage has the potential to bend any elected government.
His predicament is understandable. Elections are close at hand, the ability of his police to confront terrorists limited. The Union government should extend all help, material, men and intelligence to the state government in this difficult time.