Two Maoists arrested in Bihar for demanding ransom of Rs 5 crore from construction firm executive
Two Maoists of the banned People's Liberation Front of India (PLFI) were on Tuesday arrested in Masaurhi near Patna for demanding a ransom of Rs 5 crore from the director of a construction company.
PATNA: Two Maoists of the banned People's Liberation Front of India (PLFI) were on Tuesday arrested in Masaurhi near Patna for demanding a ransom of Rs 5 crore from the director of a construction company.
“The two rebels – Satyendra Yadav and Rakesh Kumar – were nabbed after a raid and a katta (locally assembled gun) and a pistol was recovered from their possession,” said Patna SP (city) Rajendra Bhil.
Police had been looking for the two men since May 21, when the duo had called Arun Singh, a director of construction firm Virmani Constructions, and demanded Rs 5 crore ransom. The rebels had allegedly told Singh that he would be shot dead unless his company, engaged in construction of a barrage in Masaurhi, the ransom.
Sources said the ransom call was made in a WhatsApp video call and that the two arrested rebels had displayed an AK-47 rifle during the chat. The SP (city) said that during interrogations the two men said the AK-47 rifle is currently with a PLFI leader known as Chuhwa. Police have stepped up efforts to arrest Chuhwa and recover the AK-47 rifle, he added.
Demanding ransoms from construction firms working in Bihar and Jharkhand has long been a regular method of the Maoists to collect funds. This is a rare instance of police arresting Maoists in ransom cases. In most such cases, the victims quietly pay up to ensure their safety and smooth execution of their companies’ work, said sources.
Although PLFI is largely active in neighbouring Jharkhand, the arrests brought to fore its presence in Bihar. Two PLFI activists lodged in Patna’s Beur Central Jail had made an abortive id to escape from a prisoners’ bus by hurling two low-intensity bombs in the bus in May.
“Ransom demands by the Maoists have increased lately because of the crackdown on their income routes and the seizures of assets many of their leaders had gathered over the years,” said a police official.