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Rebels with possible Purulia links held

Behrampore, Nov. 4: Five members of the Peoples’ War Group were arrested last night from a village near here.

Murshidabad police chief Gyanwant Singh said the rebels were holding a “secret meeting” when policemen acting on a tip-off swooped on them. The Naxalites were today remanded in police custody till November 12.

The rebels in the net were identified as Paban Hazra, Lalu Hazra, Sahadeb Hajra, Bhudeb Hazra and Joydeb Hazra.

Subdivisional police officer Kallol Ganai did not rule out the possibility of the five having links with those involved in the landmine blast and ambush in Purulia last month. “Posters and leaflets asking people to join the ‘armed revolution’ were recovered during the raid. Some of the posters claimed responsibility for the Purulia attack,” he said.

Officer-in-charge of Bandwan police station Nilmadhab Das was killed and five policemen were injured in the attack. “The posters here declared that the People’s War Group was proud to have launched that strike. This was proof enough for us to arrest them,” Singh said.

Kokrajol, the village where the Naxalites had assembled last evening, is close to Murshidabad’s border with Birbhum, about 270 km from Calcutta, and mostly comprises backward caste people. An officer of the local police station said three of the five arrested are from Kokrajol. “Bhudeb and Joydeb were from Birbhum. The duo was staying in the area for the past year to recruit new rebels,” the officer said.

An officer of the local police station said: “We suspect that at least two of them were directly involved in the Purulia attack.”

Airport loss

A Delhi-bound passenger tonight lost a handbag containing Rs 2 lakh in the domestic lounge of Dum Dum airport. He cancelled his Air Sahara flight but did not lodge a written complaint.

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