Thursday, October 11, 2007

Sixteen rebel suspects arrested

Oct. 10: Sixteen suspected Naxalites, including their three sympathisers, were caught at Patamda, Ghurabandha and Rampur village between late last night and today.

Police suspect two men, among the nine arrested at Kuiani village in Patamda were active in Jharkhand and Bengal violence. They are also verifying the identities of some of the arrested rebels for alleged involvement in murder of Jamshedpur MP Sunil Mahto.

“We are interrogating them for involvement in assassination of Sunil Mahto,” said East Singhbhum superintendent of police Navin Kumar Singh. He added that the arrested include Saratji alias Mansaji, Isha alias Jayanti, Binay alias Pradeep alias Rahulji, Bappa Devnath, Bijay alias Nishikant and Sureshji. All are residents of Bengal.

According to Singh, Saratji and Isha were Maoists for seven years, while Binayji was an active member of every Naxalite-sponsored violence in Bengal and Jharkhand.

When asked if Rahulji was the same person whose name had figured in police investigation in Mahto’s murder case, the SP said: “We are verifying the identity.”

The police today picked up five persons suspected to be involved in yesterday’s rebel-sponsored attack at Kashiabera under Ghurabandha police station. A constable was killed on the spot and Shailen Baskey, a leader of anti-rebel Nagarik Suraksha Samity (NSS) was injured.

At Rampur early this morning, four extremists had gone to a stone crusher unit four-and a half kilometres from the Lohardaga district headquarters, to collect levy.

About eight stone crushers are running at Rampur and the extremists earlier, in separate letters, had demanded a levy of Rs 3 lakh each. Four extremists had reached the village in the morning — two were riding a motorcycle — to collect the levy.

No sooner had they reached a unit, workers and villagers surrounded them. While one identified as Sanjay Oraon was stabbed, the other extremist, Sit Oraon, was apprehended. Both were later handed over to the police. Two other extremists, waiting outside, fled.

Injured Sanjay has been admitted to Sadar Hospital in Lohardaga. Police said combing operation was on to track down the two missing ultras.

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