Top Maoist leader arrested in Hazaribagh
A dreaded Maoist leader, carrying a reward of Rs 25 lakh on his head, was arrested here early on Friday in a joint operation by the police and the CRPF, a day after another senior member of the outlawed organisation was taken into custody.
Pradyuman Sharma (49), who went by names Kundan, Shaket and Lulah, is wanted in more than 90 criminal cases in both Bihar and Jharkhand, a senior police officer said.
The Bihar government, too, had announced a reward of Rs 50,000 on him.
Acting on intelligence inputs, security personnel raided areas surrounding the Kothadumar hillock in Chouparan police station area of Hazaribagh district and arrested Sharma, who claimed that he was a prominent member of the CPI(Maoist) special area committee, Inspector General (operations) AV Homkar told PTI.
Homkar also said that Sharma, a resident of Jehanabad district in Bihar, was the mastermind of several extortion rackets in the two states.
Describing his arrest as a big achievement , the inspector general noted that the arrested Maoist leader is a graduate in philosophy.
"As soon as Hazaribag SP Manoj Ratan Chouthe received intelligence inputs about the movement of Maoists in Chouparan area, a team of police officers and CRPF personnel raided the forests surrounding Kothadumar hillock and found Sharma talking to one of his associates.
"On seeing security personnel approaching them, they tried to flee. Sharma, however, was apprehended. His associate managed to escape, Homkar explained.
The arrested CPI(Maoist) leader was identified by the injury marks on his hand, which he sustained during an IED blast some years ago, the inspector general said.
"During interrogation, Sharma identified himself as a prominent member of CPI(Maoist) special area committee, and claimed that he was instrumental in strengthening the outfit in the region, Homkar stated.
The Jharkhand Police had on Thursday arrested another senior Maoist leader, Ganjhu alias Azad, in Chhatra district. Ganjhu has 45 criminal cases filed against him, including one that involved the death of 30 policemen.