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Heat on rebel outfits

Ranchi, May 11: A Maoist sub-zonal commander was arrested from Gumla, while two rebels of a rival group were nabbed in Ranchi district yesterday.

Huge cache of arms and ammunition was recovered during both operations.

Two members of the Tritiya Prastuti Committee (TPC), a breakaway faction of the CPI(Maoist), were arrested from Karge village in Mander police station area, around 35km from Ranchi district headquarters, last evening.

The duo was identified as Manzoor Alam and Saddam Hussain, both belong to Ratu area. Police also recovered a 9mm pistol, a country-made pistol, cartridges and mobile phones from them.

“We received a tip-off that two TPC rebels on a motorcycle were out to extort money from brick kiln owners in Mander. We immediately formed a special team, headed by SP (city) S.K. Jha to nab them,” said senior superintendent of police (SSP) Prabhat Kumar at a news conference at his office today.

The motorcycle they were riding was stolen.

After a three-hour-long chase, the police traced them in Riptintola locality of Mander. “They tried to speed away, but fell from the bike and the police nabbed them,” the SSP added.

According to another senior police officer, the rebel outfit has been trying to spread its base in rural areas of Ranchi district in the recent past. “They mainly target brick kiln owners and businessmen in Mandar, Chanho and Burhmu areas,” he said.

The cop added the arrests had come as a big respite for local traders. Preliminary investigations revealed that at least three criminal cases of different nature were pending against Saddam at Ratu, Kanke and Sukhdeonagar police stations. The SSP said the police personnel involved in the yesterday’s operation would be rewarded.

In Gumla, Maoist sub-zonal commander Gulab Gope was arrested during a search operation last evening. The police recovered a pistol, cartridges and a mobile phone from him.

“We are interrogating him. This has been a prize catch for security forces,” said Gumla superintendent of police Bheemsen Tuti.

Probed further, the SP refused to divulge much at this moment. But, he added security forces had intensified operations in the district, which led to the arrest last night.