Tuesday, June 30, 2009

11 extorting money for festival held with Maoist pamphlets

OUR CORRESPONDENT

ON GUARD
Jamshedpur, June 29: Eleven suspected Maoists, extorting money on the pretext of religious celebrations and warning of a Lalgarh rerun in the state, were arrested from the rebel stronghold of Nimdih, about 50km from the steel city, late last evening.

Police said the men — all aged between 20 and 24 years — were residents of Koira village in East Singhbhum’s Patamda block.

They were picked up from the weekly haat at Chaliama village in adjoining Seraikela-Kharsawan’s Nimdih police station area. Though no arms or explosives were found on them, a bunch of Maoist literature was recovered.

“They were collecting subscription for Hul Divas, celebrated by tribals on the last day of this month every year, under the banner of Koira Gram Sabha. Some of them were urging villagers to join the CPI(Maoist), too. We received a tip-off from Nimdih in the evening,” Seraikela-Kharsawan district superintendent of police Sheetal Oraon told The Telegraph.

A team of police and paramilitary forces surrounded Chaliama, bordering Purulia district of Bengal, around 10pm and nabbed the suspected rebels, led by one Budheswar Singh Sardar.

“They were distributing pamphlets, asking people to join the CPI(Maoist) and protest against police atrocities. They announced the formation of another organisation on the lines of People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities, a CPI(Maoist) wing active in Lalgarh, West Midnapore. Villagers claimed they also threatened Lalgarh reruns in Nimdih and Patamda,” the SP said.

Maoist literature seized from them was written in Bengali and Hindi. Interrogation substantiated that the youths had links with the CPI(Maoist), but Oraon said the police were yet to ascertain whether they were active members of the outfit or just sympathisers.

“The eleven have been booked under Section 386 (extortion) of the IPC and Section 17 (involvement in Naxalite activities) of the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act,” he said. They were remanded in judicial custody this morning. “But we may seek police remand for further interrogation.”

DIG (Kolhan) Manoj Kumar Mishra confirmed the arrests.

“Eleven suspected rebels have been picked up after pamphlets and posters were found on them,” he said, adding that Seraikela-Kharsawan’s Nimdih and Chandil blocks and Patamda in East Singhbhum had strong Maoist presence.

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