Saturday, April 11, 2009

Maoist leader shifted to Ranchi

SHASHANK SHEKHAR

Shankar Anna being taken to Ranchi jail from Bokaro on Thursday. Picture by Pankaj Singh
Bokaro, April 10: Acting on reports that Naxalites were planning to storm Chas jail to whisk away their leader, Mohammad Hussain alias Shankar Anna — lodged in the jail for 10 weeks — the Bokaro police shifted the prized catch to Ranchi jail last evening.

The operation was carried out in a highly confidential manner and under high security cover.

Anna, 58, who was carrying a prize money of Rs 10 lakh on his head announced by the Andhra Pradesh government, was arrested from Chas (Bokaro) on February 2. Since then, intelligence reports had been pouring in, warning the men in uniform that the rebels had masterminded a plan to break into the jail and secure the release of Hussain during the elections — sometime in the second-third week of April.

Highly placed sources said the final shove that got the men in uniform acting was the phone tapping of a Maoist, who was discussing the jail break with an aide.

According to reports, the Bokaro police on Thursday moved the court of Bokaro judicial magistrate B.K Lal, pleading him to allow them to shift Anna out of Chas jail before it was too late.

Soon after the court gave the permission, the police wasted no time in moving out Anna.

Though the direct and shorter route to Ranchi from Bokaro is via Petarwar- Gola-Ramgarh Road but as this zone is a Naxalite hotbed, the police took Anna through Purulia (Bengal) Road. Around 40 armed personnel had accompanied the prisoner.

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