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Mobile trap for rebel arsonist

Ranchi, June 2: Police on Monday arrested one of the members of a rebel outfit, which attempted to disrupt a railway project by setting an earthmover on fire in the early hours of May 17 at Sanga Toli forest in Ormanji police station area, about 30km from Ranchi district headquarters.

Speaking at a news conference at his office, senior superintendent of police Prabhat Kumar said Deepak Shaw (22) was nabbed from a rented room at Adarsh Nagar in Bijulia in Ramgarh police station area. He added that Shaw had criminal records in four police stations of Ramgarh district.

“Shaw had looted the cellphone of Birendra Bedia, who had been deputed to guard the earthmover. When he switched it on, the technical cell of state police tracked the cellphone and zeroed in on Shaw’s location,” he said.

Kumar further said the gang called itself Tritiya Prastuti Committee, a splinter group of the CPI (Maoist).

“The TPC extremists had first sent a letter asking officials of Classic Coal Company, which was laying railway lines between Ranchi from Ramgarh, to meet them. When no one turned up for a dialogue, the six-member gang committed the arson,” he said.

Kumar added that they were interrogating Shaw for the names of the other criminals. Officer-in-charge of Ormanjhi police station Awadhesh Kumar Thakur, who was present during the news meet, agreed. “So far, names of two more criminals have come to light. Shaw named them Dilip Ganjhu and Bhaskar Singh. However, he said he did not know the remaining three people who were part of the operation,” he said.

Thakur said if Shaw had not used the cellphone, it would have been difficult to nab him. “Shaw put a sim card in the stolen mobile set and switched it on. Immediately, the technical cell traced its location,” he said.

The gang had set the earthmover worth Rs 50 lakh on fire outside the cottage of guard Birendra Bedia. They had used kerosene oil for the arson operation. They had also looted Bedia’s cellphone. The guard was able to inform police only the next morning.


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