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Maoist leader held in Tezpur

Tezpur, Dec. 6: A most-wanted Maoist leader of Jharkhand was arrested by police from Sonitpur district of Assam today.

The accused, identified as Amrit Singh Kheirwar alias Anandji, who is the zonal commander of three districts of Jharkhand, was arrested at Tezpur, around 170km from Guwahati.

Acting on specific information, a police team led by additional SP of Sonitpur, P.K. Nath, apprehended the 35-year-old Maoist leader, along with his father-in-law, from a private lodge called Jironi Sora in Tezpur town.

The police, however, have not yet disclosed the name of the father-in-law, as his involvement with the outfit was yet to be ascertained.

Nath said there were 18 cases registered against Kheirwar in different police stations of Jharkhand. He said the accused hails from Latehar district of Jharkhand. According to Nath, the accused was the Maoist commander of Koelsankh zone of Jharkhand, which comprises Latehar, Garhwa and Palamu districts of the state.

The additional SP said according to unconfirmed reports, the accused was carrying a reward of Rs 5 lakh on his head and they are trying to crosscheck it with their Jharkhand counterparts.

He said the accused was arrested in Jharkhand in 2007 and spent 11 months in jail before he was released on bail and returned to the outfit.

He said they have confirmed the identity of the accused by matching his photograph sent by Jharkhand police. Another police source said the accused is suspected to have come to Assam to expand the Maoist network in the state. The police, along with officials of the state and central intelligence agencies are interrogating him.

According to Dispur, seven districts have been affected by Maoists activities in the state.

Union rural development minister Jairam Ramesh on December 2 said two districts in Upper Assam Dibrugarh and Tinsukia are likely to be declared Maoist-affected by the Centre soon.

There have also been reports of Maoists tie-ups with the Paresh Barua faction of Ulfa, which is allegedly providing the Maoists with arms and ammunition.

In June, the National Investigation Agency arrested an alleged member of the CPI (Maoist), Pallab Borbora alias Profull, from Golaghat.