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Rebels hunt for ‘traitor’ after leader arrest February 22, 2007

Posted by naxalwatch in Revange.
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OUR CORRESPONDENT
Hazaribagh, Feb. 21: Naxalites have started a hunt for insiders, who allegedly played a role in the arrest of zonal commander Bhagirath from Bundu of Keredari yesterday.

Bhagirath’s arrest came as a big blow to the outfit as he was a “pillar” of the organisation.

After the arrest of Sunil Ganjhu, Bhagirath had re-organised and strengthened the outfit in Hazaribagh, Giridih, Chatra and Latehar districts.

Police officers said Bhagirath was not only known for his toughness but also for his social activities in areas under his jurisdiction. He never hesitated to help villagers when needed. Bhagirath was also credited for the construction of an 11-km road between Hingwahi and Mandu.

According to the police records, Bhagirath was first arrested in a bus robbery case. Within few months, he came out of jail but was again accused in a number of cases. In 1996, he joined the outfit under the leadership of Ganjhu. But after the arrest of Ganjhu, he was made the area commander.

Sources said Bhagirath had taken several harsh decisions to strengthen the organisation during his 12 years’ stint in the outfit. He had passed order to kill three popular area commanders — Rahul, Bhim and Basarat — for misusing funds collected from levy.

Superintendent of police Praveen Kumar Singh today admitted that 10 rifles were recovered by the police following a tip-off by Bhagirath.

Singh said Maoists had looted a trunk from armoury, which had rifles in it and was recovered now by police from Hafua village of Keredari.

Singh said the information about presence of Bhagirath was result of timely information, which resulted in arrest of this dreaded Maoist.

According to the police, Bhagirath was sleeping in a house at Bundu, when the police team reached there. One of his associates, Shyam Thakur successfully escaped.

The police also recovered Rs 3.90 lakh, gold ornaments worth Rs 2 lakh, one pistol, a revolver and three mobile sets from Bhagirath, Singh added.

Deputy superintendent of police Mani Lal Mandal said: “We moved towards Bundu village to avoid any loopholes. Prize of Rs 1 lakh was announced on him. He was accused in more than 100 cases around Ranchi, Hazaribagh, Chatra, Bokaro and Giridih.”

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