March 16: Marshal Topno, an alleged associate of Maoist leader Kishan, has been arrested in Jharkhand, police announced today.
Considered a prize catch after the arrest of Telugu Deepak in Calcutta, Topno was caught yesterday during security operations in West Singhbhum.
The joint forces in Bengal said 11 suspected Maoists, including four actively associated with the rebels action squad, were arrested in Goaltore in West Midnapore.
One of the 11 arrested has been identified as Nanigopal Goswami, the alleged mastermind of strikes in the area.
He was wanted for the murder of at least four persons, apart from running an extortion racket, an officer said. He added that Goswami could have been involved in the murder of the officer-in-charge of Sarenga police station.
In Jharkhand, director-general of police Neyaz Ahmed said the ongoing operations against the Maoists were about to be expanded to other areas in the state.
Referring to Topnos arrest, an officer said: He used to operate in the jungles of West Singhbhum. The intelligence department had also given a tip-off about his movement.
Today, Jharkhand police arrested five Naxalites and recovered arms and ammunition from them in Garhwa and Lohardaga. The two districts are not included in the zones of the operation that has so far led to the arrest of 13 Maoists.