KORAPUT: Nachika Linga, president of Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangha (CMAS), a Maoist-backed tribal outfit in Koraput district, was arrested by the Border Security Force (BSF) personnel at Bhaliaput village, 8 km from Narayanpatna police station, on Tuesday.
Nachika, the most wanted tribal leader, had been evading arrest since November, 2009. He has been allegedly involved in several criminal cases, including murder, arson and dacoity. He had gone on a land grabbing spree in Narayanpatna in 2009 when the CMAS occupied over 2,000 acres of land belonging to the non-tribals.
Following a tip-off on his presence in Padapadar area a few days back, the BSF personnel had intensified combing operation in the area. He was holding a discussion with some villagers at a place near Bhaliaput on Tuesday when the BSF men nabbed him. Nachika would be produced in Laxmipur court.
Police said 40 criminal cases have been registered against Nachika. Those include 15 murder, looting and arson cases at different police stations of Koraput district. He carried a cash reward of `5 lakh on his head.
“Nachika was on our wanted list and we were tracking his movements. On many occasions, we had come close to nab him but have been unable to do so as he moved around in a crowd. He would be produced in the court on the basis of the non-bailable warrants issued against him,” said Inspector-General of Police, Koraput, Yashwant Jethwa.
Though Nachika had surfaced on a few occasions over the past few years and had also addressed CMAS meetings, the police had been unable to arrest him. In March, the wanted tribal leader had declared that he would surrender before a local court, but did not turn up.
Since January last year, thousands of CMAS activists have surrendered before the police, weakening the Maoist-backed outfit, but Nachika remained at large.