PATNA: Dreaded Maoist commander Kundan Pahan, involved in the murder of a police inspector and a former Jharkhand minister, and also wanted in 128 criminal cases surrendered before police in Ranchi on Sunday.
Kundan Pahan, 44, used to be a terror in southern Jharkhand as a leader of the outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoist) for a decade and a half. He carried a reward of Rs 15 lakh on his head.
Pahan’s surrender, ten days after the surrender of CPI (Maoist) zonal commander Nakul Yadav, who also had a bounty of Rs 15 lakh on his head, is considered a major success for the State police and paramilitary forces.
The surrender took place at a simple ceremony in the presence of Jharkhand’s ADGP (operations) RK Mallik, DIG (Ranchi range) Amol V Homkar and CRPF inspector general Anand Latkar.
Ranchi SSP Kuldeep Dwivedi said Kundan Pahan had been active in Ranchi, Khuti, Seraikela-Kharswa, East Singbhum and West Singbhum districts.
“I was never captured by police in any operation so far. Reports of my capture in 2009 were false. All reports that said police had photographs of me were also false. Police never had any of my photos,” said Pahan, who wore the black Maoist attire.
“I want to be given an opportunity by society and the government to live as a normal citizen in the country’s mainstream. I am determined to reform myself… I take responsibility for all the incidents in which I was involved directly or indirectly. I admit they were mistakes I committed,” he added to his address on stage.
Kundan Pahan served as the secretary of the CPI (Maoist)’s regional committee. Both his elder brothers were also Maoists. One of them was arrested while the other had surrendered before police a few years ago, said sources.
Pahan was involved in the murder of former Jharkhand minister Ramesh Singh Munda in 2008, when he was a sitting legislator of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM).
The Maoist commander was also involved in beheading police inspector Francis Induwar in 2009. Police sources said it was on Kundan Pahan’s order that Induwar was beheaded in cold blood a week after being abducted, in demand for three arrested Maoist leaders, including Kobad Ghandy’s release.
The Maoist operation that killed JMM leader and former MP Sunil Mahato during a football match in 2007 also had Pahan’s participation, said police sources. He was also involved in looting Rs 5 crore and 1.3 kg gold from a cash van of ICICI Bank in 2008, they added.