Ranchi, July 20: District police seized a huge cache of arms and ammunition from Sauka village in Itki, 30km from the capital, last night, continuing the state’s sustained offensive against the banned PLFI.
Nevertheless, sub-zonal commander Jetha Kacchap and his key aides Samshad and Mangal managed to give the police the slip. They disappeared into Itki forests, taking advantage of the darkness.
Addressing a news meet today, superintendent of police (rural) S.K. Jha said that they had specific information that Kacchap and other senior members of the banned outfit had been holding a meeting in the forests of Itki.
“We have a quick action team ready for such situations. When the security personnel surrounded the rebels, they opened indiscriminate fire and slipped into the deep forests,” said Jha.
Giving details about the seized items, the rural SP said 23 live cartridges, two country-made guns, four detonators, two plastic mats and a tent were seized from the spot.
This apart, Jha added, the police also found a money receipt book of a private cradle, Vidya Vihar Public School.
“The school’s receipt book in possession of PLFI rebels is a matter of investigation. Our team is in the process of locating the school and finding out how it is connected with the rebel outfit,” he added.
According to police sources, self-styled PLFI chief Dinesh Gope is running a dozen schools in the rural areas of Ranchi, Khunti and nearby districts. “Vidya Vihar may also belong to Gope. The police are gathering intelligence inputs about all such schools suspected to be run by Gope,” said a senior police officer.
In July, the state stepped up heat on the PLFI when the banned outfit ordered closure of 400 schools in rural Khunti, throwing an open challenge to the administration.
The state directed its public relations department to put up photographs and details of PLFI members and sympathisers in public domain with cash rewards.
The state has also asked the income tax department to probe into movable and immovable assets of PLFI activists and seize them.
Flush-out operations are going on in Gumla, Khunti, Simdega, Lohardaga and others as well to wipe out the PLFI.