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Pahan aide, courier in jail

Jamshedpur, Nov. 20: A hardcore rebel, who is a close aide of dreaded Maoist commander Kundan Pahan, and an associate were arrested from Ichagarh block in Seraikela-Kharsawan district on Monday evening.

The Seraikela court sent the two — Parikshit Mahto (35) and Sadakat Ali (36) — to Seraikela divisional jail today. Being touted as a major breakthrough by police, the arrests came during a raid at Mahto’s house at Hamid village.

Ali, who supplies explosives and other materials to Pahan, had gone to Mahto’s house with a consignment of cloth, detergents and explosives, believed to be for the rebel leader. Police recovered 100 metres of black cloth, detergent packets, which Ali had apparently bought from Jamshedpur’s Sakchi market, 25 pieces of gelatin sticks and 20 detonators from the house.

“It is a major breakthrough for us. Mahto, wanted in several Naxalite-related cases, is a close aide of Pahan while Ali is a courier. We had received a tip-off that Mahto had come to his house and a consignment, meant for Pahan, had reached his house. We immediately rushed a police team to Ichagarh for carrying out a raid,” said Seraikela-Kharsawan SP Upendra Kumar.

The senior police officer further said that the cloth was to be used for making uniform for CPI(Maoist) rebels working under Kundan Pahan. “Mahto revealed as much during interrogation,” Kumar said.

Ali had procured the black cloth and detergents from Sakchi market yesterday and then boarded a bus for Ichagarh. Another courier was supposed to ferry the items to Pahan. Police are trying to find out from where gelatin sticks and detonators had been procured.

Police had seized 70 pieces of Maoist uniform from a courier at Chowka last month.