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Rebel leader in net, arms seized

Jamshedpur, May 13: Huge cache of arms and ammunition was seized from rebel-affected Sonua block in West Singhbhum district this morning, following the arrest of a Maoist area commander last night.

The haul included three sophisticated rifles, over 100 rounds of cartridges and a large quantity of explosives.

A joint team of the district police and paramilitary forces raided Kotia and Jeraken villages in Sonua, near Saranda and around 120km from Jamshedpur, and made the recovery, providing a boost to the anti-insurgency operations in the area.

Superintendent of police N.K. Singh said the rifles were recovered from Kotia village, while the ammunition was found in adjoining Jeraken village. He said the seized riffles were looted by the Maoists during 2003-04 when the Naxalite movement was at its peak in Saranda.

The security forces arrested Maoist area commander Tata Munda (40) from Jeraikela area last night following a tip-off from the villagers. “Working on the information, we laid a trap and arrested Munda,” the SP told The Telegraph.

During interrogations, the rebel leader told police that he was given the charge of Sonua block after the former area commander was arrested a year ago. Munda also revealed places where Maoist weapons were hidden. Following the revelation, the security forces raided the two villages and recovered the haul.

The police produced the Maoist leader in court, which remanded him in 14-day judicial custody. The police will ask for his remand to find out more about the outfit.