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Corporate goon with Maoist past in cop net

The state police have heaved a sigh of relief with the arrest of Maoist-turned-gangster Santosh Jha from Bengal late on Wednesday night.

Jha (40), who faces over 40 cases of murder, extortion and bank robbery in north Bihar, also carried a reward of Rs 1 lakh on his head.

Acting on a tip-off, the state police’s special task force (STF) raided his hideout on Diamond Harbour Road in Calcutta and nabbed him with the help of Bengal police.

Jha hails from Dostian village under the jurisdiction of the Purnahia police station in Sheohar district, close to the India-Nepal border.

Confirming the arrest, inspector-general (operations) Amit Kumar said Jha was being brought to Bihar from Calcutta under tight security arrangements. “A Bihar police team is already camping in Bengal. Jha was produced before a court in Bengal today (Thursday) and will be brought to Bihar on transit remand,” he told The Telegraph.

Contractors, engineers and other employees of private companies constructing roads and bridges in Gopal ganj, Muzaffarpur, Sitamarhi, Sheohar, East Champaran and West Champaran districts were soft target for the 30-member gang. At least a dozen employees of such firms have been killed in the past three years.

Jha has been credited with forming Parsuram Sena by employing minor boys staying in remand homes for carrying out his operations. He used to pay them monthly salary in their bank accounts.