SSP Prabhat Kumar shows the rifle recovered from the rebels (face covered) in Ranchi on Saturday. (Hardeep Singh)
Ranchi, March 22: Three Maoists, including an area commander, were arrested from Kurmadih of Ranchi district in the small hours of today, foiling the rebels’ attempt to plant mines in the jungle apparently for trapping security personnel in a Chhattisgarh-like ambush.
Five pieces of detonators, a live grenade, a pressure cooker bomb, one thirestor used to explode IEDs, wire and Naxalite literatures were found on them. These apart, a 303 rifle — which rebels had snatched from police earlier — with 21 rounds of cartridges and a pistol were also recovered from their possessions.
The three rebels have been identified as Maoist area commander from Guatam Dhara Jivadhan Munda (22), alias Nandu, Mehar Munda (22) and Sanika Munda (45).
Police sources said Jivadhan was a close aide of Ram Mohan Munda, who is considered to be the right hand of notorious Maoist Kundan Pahan from Bundu-Chandil.
According to sources, a joint team of state police, CRPF and SSB was sent to the Kurmadih forests, about 35km from Ranchi district headquarters, in the small hours of today on the basis of an intelligence input regarding movement of rebels in the area.
“Last night, we received information about a squad of 20 Maoists who were moving in the forests. They wanted to plant IEDs,” said senior superintendent of police (SSP), Ranchi, Prabhat Kumar.
Kumar added the special team reached the specified location around 2.30am from two sides and nabbed the three rebels after a brief encounter.
“The Maoists opened fire at the jawans. They retaliated. After hardly 10 rounds of firing, most of the rebels fled the spot. But security personnel managed to catch three guerrillas,” the SSP said, adding the security forces thwarted rebels’ attempt to disturb peace ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.
In a separate incident, Maoist Shiva Mahto (45), who was arrested from Lohardaga town yesterday, was forwarded to jail today. Police also recovered Rs 3.57 lakh that he had extracted from one Ajay Udyan.
Security beefed up
The Bokaro police have intensified their search operations after two Maoists, who were arrested on Thursday, revealed that a large number of Naxalites had sneaked into Jhumra and Mahutand.
Superintendent of police Jitendra Singh said two rebels, Anil Murmu and Sunil Hansda, were arrested along with arms and ammunition during patrolling on Thursday night.