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Rebels held in Panki

Ranchi, Dec. 5: Eight PLFI members, who were behind the abduction of three officials of SBIs Panki branch in July, were today arrested with a huge cache of arms and ammunition.

Acting on a tip-off, police rounded up the eight, including a zonal commander, from Purushottampur village at Panki in Palamau district, 220km from the state capital. The rebels were apparently camping in the village to execute some major plans.

The arrested are PLFI zonal commander Shiv Shankar Yadav, alias Laxman Yadav, alias Laxmanji, Ramjit Singh, Raj Kishore Singh, Virendra Singh, Arun Kharwar, Naresh Yadav, Lavkush Yadav and Mantu Yadav. They hail from different parts of Palamau, Latehar and Lohardaga districts.

Palamau superintendent of police (SP) Narendra Kumar Singh said: We received a tip-off that a PLFI armed squad was camping in Purushottampur village. We immediately formed a special team to nab them. Though the area happens to be a rebel hotbed, our men cornered them from all four sides.

The weapons seized include a 7.62mm AK-47 rifle, a 5.56mm Insas rifle that was stolen from police, five .315 bore rifles and a countrymade pistol. This apart, 38 rounds of AK-47 cartridges, 111 rounds of Insas cartridges, 33 rounds of .315 bore cartridges and eight rounds of .539 bore cartridges were recovered.

The other items seized are 12 mobile phones, backpacks, voter identity cards, training certificates and identity cards issued by a private security agency and items of daily use. Police are trying to establish more clues on the basis of the seizures.

According to police, the group, which was wanted in around 20 cases of extortion, arson, murders, encounters with police and kidnapping for ransom, was involved in the abduction of the SBI officials from a Ranchi-bound vehicle on July 27.

We had been looking for them. Our men have done a great job. There was no casualty during the raid at the rebel hideout, Singh added.

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