| The seized arms. Picture by Surajit roy
Malda, Nov. 5: Front ranking Maoist leader Kartik Mondal has been arrested and a huge cache of arms and ammunition seized during raids in the Habibpur police station area over the past 24 hours.
The cache includes two carbines, a rifle and one 9 mm pistol. Malda police superintendent Dilip Mondal said efforts were on to find out how the Maoists came to possess the rifle and the carbines.
During earlier raids, police had found Maoist literature, paper cuttings with pictures of police officers and Rs 5,500 in cash. In mid-October, the police seized one AK 47 rifle and a number of grenades in the Bamongola police station area, which is adjacent to Habibpur.
Acting on a tip-off that the Maoists were holding a secret meeting in Habibpur, a police team, led by Dilip Mondal, began a search operation.
After raiding three villages, the team arrived at Yadpur and discovered the arms and ammunition. The police also came to know that the Maoists had held the meeting at the house of one Amin Tudu.
“But they managed to flee before we arrived. Once we arrest Tudu, things will be clearer. We have started a hunt for him,” said inspector-in-charge of Habibpur Biswanath Halder.
Kartik Mondal was arrested during a raid in the neighbouring village of Zahanabad this afternoon, the district police chief said.
The officer-in-charge of Bamongola police station, Anil Roy, said the Maoists had recently threatened him for conducting frequent raids in the area. He said the rebels had also set fire to the car of the local CPM MLA before the Assembly polls.