Bihar cops set example on Maoist catch

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  • Published 16.06.11

Patna, June 15: The Bihar police have apprehended 135 Maoists from different Naxalite-hit districts since January this year. Out of these, the names of 43 top-ranking leaders were among the names of the most wanted list.

With this, top ranking police officials say, Bihar has achieved what their counterparts in Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh could not under the name of Operation Green Hunt.

Half-a-dozen of the rebels, now behind bars, were carrying huge cash rewards on their heads. Senior police officials told The Telegraph, this was possible because of the well-planned strategy of the senior police officials of the state.

The arrest of Jagdish Yadav alias Jagdish master from Gaya’s Guraru area on June 13 is considered to be fallout of the well-knit strategy of Bihar police. The state government had announced a reward of Rs 2 lakh for Yadav’s arrest, who played a pivotal role in the merger of the erstwhile Maoist Communist Centre and the People’s War in the existing CPI (Maoist).

Director-general of police (DGP) Neel Mani said: “This is by far the biggest catch of Naxalites as Jagdish Master was one of top eight politburo members of the group. Yadav, a politburo member since 2004, has been behind several major Naxalite attacks across the country. After the arrest of Kobad Ghandy, Yadav has been playing a big role in the strategy formulation of the CPI (Maoists).”

The DGP said even though Yadav was active since 1968 he never fell into the police net earlier. Yadav had been central committee member from 1996 to 2004 and was wanted by the police officials of Bihar, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. He was also the publisher and editor of a mouthpiece of the outfit’s magazine Chingari.

This is the second big catch of the top Naxalite leaders in less than two months in Bihar.

On April 29, three central committee members — Pulendu Shekher Mukherjee alias Saheb da, Varanasi Subramanyam alias Vimal da and Vijay Kumar Arya alias Jaspalji — were arrested from Katihar’s Barsoi area during a joint operation launched by the Special Task Force (STF) and the district armed police personnel.

“This is perhaps the first time in the country when three central committee members have been arrested from a particular place,” said inspector general of police (IGP) K.S. Dwivedi, who is also in charge of anti-Naxalite cell at the state police headquarters. He said the arrest of Masterji was a prized catch for the state police.

The DGP said the personnel of the STF and the district police were consistently performing well. “We have not launched any green-hunt-type operation but arrested more hardened Maoist leaders than other states,” he said, adding that it was not possible to do so without a team effort and coordination with the police officials of the neighbouring states.

Statistics available at the state police headquarters revealed that 331 Naxalites were arrested in 2010 while 14 hardcore Maoists surrendered before the police.

Of them, 55 were top Maoist leaders, including seven zonal commanders, 10 sub-zonal commanders and 13 area commanders. In sharp contrast, only 33 top leaders of the CPI (Maoist) were arrested in 2009.