Gaya, May 2: Ram Raj alias Azad, alleged to be the zonal commander of CPI (Maoist), was arrested on Tuesday evening from a beer bar in Gaya.
Azad’s arrest is being regarded as a severe jolt to the Naxalite outfit.
According to the Gaya police superintendent (SP) Amit Jain, Azad was under electronic surveillance for quite sometime now.
At the time of his arrest, the leader was enjoying a drink and talking to his friend, a performer at Sarai, one of the oldest red-light areas in the state.
Giving details of the operation that ultimately led to the arrest, Gaya SP Amit Jain said, like other Naxalite leaders, Azad, too, was “fond of good things of life, including wine and women”.
Also the levy (extortion) money at his disposal made it easy for him to indulge. Ironically, the Naxalite big gun was unarmed at the time of his arrest.
As to why a leader of his stature was moving in a crowded locality, close to Kotwali police station, unarmed, the SP believes it was either Azad’s overconfidence or because he believed he was “unrecognisable” as he was an underground agent.
Ultimately, it was Azad’s mobile phone, which proved to be of help. The police that had Azad’s number called to ascertain, who among the dozen and more bar visitors, was Azad.
According to the SP, Azad was involved in a number of Maoist operations, including the attack on Tekari and Paraiya police stations. Nearly six officers were killed during the attack on the two police stations and arms were also looted.
A resident of Goh in the neighbouring Aurangabad, Azad’s name also cropped up during the executors’ interrogation after the Jahanabad jailbreak. The Gaya police, according to sources, are gathering information from other dis tricts, especially Aurangabad, about the leader’ activities.
The Maoists, it may be recalled here, are yet to recover from the trauma caused by the arrest of Ajay Kanu and Nathun Kahar, both prominent leaders in Bihar’s Naxalite movement.