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India, Nepal cops cheer prized catch

Police heaved a sigh of relief after the arrest of ganglord Ramchandra Sahni from the India-Nepal border in West Champaran district on Monday.

The government had announced a reward of Rs 25,000 for the arrest of Sahni. Acting on a tip-off, a team of police officers of the Special Task Force (STF) conducted a raid at the hideouts of Sahni near Valmikinagar adjacent to the Nepal border and took him into custody. Sahni was evading arrest for the past three decades.

Inspector-general (operations) Amit Kumar said 32 cases related to murder, kidnapping, extortion and robbery were pending against Sahni in different police stations of Bettiah and Bagaha. He was operating from Nepal. Sahni, a resident of Churiharva village under the jurisdiction of the Chautarba police station in Bagaha police district, had stepped into the world of crime in 1983 and joined the gang led by one Basudev Yadav, who at present is cooling his heels in Bettiah divisional jail.

Sources in the state police headquarters said Sahni, better known as Ramchandra Mallah, shifted to Nepal after the police tightened their noose around dreaded gang leaders operating in the Champaran region. He was staying at Daruabari, Nepal.

Sources said Sahni’s arrest is fallout of recent visit of a team of senior officers of Nepal to Bihar. The officials of the two sides discussed the issues related to the upcoming general elections and exchanged the list of the wanted criminals. “It is a matter of relief for law enforcing agency of the state that there is a better understanding between the officers of the countries. Earlier, Bablu Dev, a criminal, was arrested from Nepal,” the police officer said.

The officer said Basudev Yadav, too, was staying in Nepal. But he surrendered before the Bagaha police in 2008. He was facing over 40 cases of murder, kidnapping, extortion and loot. Their mentor Bhagar Yadav, wanted in over 100 cases, later surrendered before then Bagaha superintendent of police K.S. Anupam. Bhagar’s jungle party had created a reign of terror in the Champaran region and was virtually running a parallel administration in Gandak river belt.

Former Bettiah superintendent of police Vikas Vaibhav, who is at present posted in the National Investigation Agency, had prepared a list of over 20 fugitive criminals and initiated a slew of steps to bring them in the mainstream. Banshi Yadav was among a dozen bandits, who had deserted the world of crime to join the mainstream.

Arms licence diktat

The Gaya district administration has started issuing showcause notices to arms licence holders who have not gone through verification process of their licences or their firearms for a long time.

After district magistrate-cum-district election officer Balamurugan D. issued an order for verification of licence and the physical verification of firearms, a drive has been initiated that will continue till March 14.