Sasaram (Bihar): Arms licenses have been issued to 61 tribal people for self defence against Maoists in Bihar's Rohtas district, officials said.

They were living at a base camp at Chenari for the past several months. Now they have returned to their villages so arms licences were issued after thorough assessment of the threats from Maoists, sources said.

"They were issued arms licences to instill confidence and enable them to defend themselves in the event of being attacked by Maoists," District Magistrate (DM) Anupam Kumar said.

Kumar said, "Twelve of them have bought firearms and presented them to the police authorities for verification yesterday."

Superintendent of Police (SP) Manu Maharaj told the tribal people against the misuse of the guns else the licences will be cancelled.

More than 500 tribal people left their villages in Rohtas, Nauhatta and Chenari blocks and took shelter at a base camp at Chenari after a series of attacks in July last year in Kaimur forest range in which five persons were killed, 13 others injured and 21 houses were set ablaze by Maoists.