The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Cellphone traps top rebels in cop net

Bokaro, Aug. 12: Five top Maoist leaders, including one accused in the Mahendra Singh murder case, were arrested after tracking cellphones used by the rebels, police said today.

More than Rs 9.5 lakh in cash, 250 cartridges, two laptops with names of donors, which includes several top politicians of Jharkhand and Bihar, few cellphones, Maoist literature and training materials from Ranchi, Giridih, Patna and bordering areas of Jharkhand and Bihar were also seized.

High-level sources in the police said that the Maoists arrested in the raid — in which three police teams were included — were secretly kept at a CRPF camp in Ranchi for interrogation, as rebels, in a retaliatory action, might attack the camp to set their comrades free.

The sources said the prime accused in the Mahendra Singh murder case, Jayant alias Kunal alias Tuddu, who lost one of his eyes due to firing in an attack on CISF camp at Khas Mahal area four months ago, was arrested while receiving treatment at Sankara Nethralaya in Chennai along with Prakash in the ophthalmology department of the hospital.

Although there was another rebel present at the hospital, he managed to escape the net.

The laptops also revealed that the rebels had been assigned to attack Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Dhanbad and Bokaro.

The sources added that Bokaro police got the clues after recovering one of the cellphones of a “top Maoist leader during the attack on the CISF camp in which one of the leaders injured his eyes”.

After receiving treatment at Ranchi and Patna, Jayant went to Chennai and got admitted to Sankara Nethralaya from where he kept in touch with his men and arms suppliers in Jharkhand and Bihar unaware that the police were engaged in a round-the-clock survelliance.

The other arrested rebels include Prayag Mahto alias Prahlad of Nawadih (Bokaro), Basudev Mahto of Madhupur (Girdih) and Arup Tuddu of Degagaddha (Nawadih).

Pappu Jain, an arms supplier-cum-businessman from Madhupur (Girdih) besides two youths of Patna, who are arms dealers, were also arrested during the raid.

Sources added that the Maoists had conspired to also target top police officers like Anil Palta, inspector P.K. Mishra and three senior politicians, including former chief minister Babulal Marandi and a senior BJP leader, who was reportedly once the donor of the outfit.

Deputy inspector-general (coalbelt) Anurag Gupta confirmed that two Maoists, including Jayant and Prakash, were arrested by a team of Bokaro police but did not divulge the details of the place from where they were held.

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