JAMSHEDPUR: The police and the CRPF have launched a joint operation to break the financial resources of the Maoists in East Singhbhum district who collect levy from contractors in the area.
The security personnel today arrested two Maoist supporters carrying cash collected from a contractor in the form of levy to hand over to Maoist leader Ranjit Pal alias Rahul, who was the prime accused in the killing of JMM MP Sunil Mahato. Senior Superintendent of Police Anup T Mathew told reporters that acting on a tip off, Superintendent of Police (rural) Shailendra Kumar Sinha and Commandant 193 Battalion of CRPF, Ashish Kumar, led a search operation in the Ghatshila sub-division this morning and intercepted two persons at Chengoda between Ghatshila and Kadaduba, when they were about to enter the jungles to hand over the levy amount of Rs 2.50 lakh to Rahul.
The subsequent search led the security personnel to recover the cash, one country-made pistol, three live cartridges and Maoist literature, Mathew said adding the security personnel also seized the motorcycle they were travelling on and two mobile phones. The arrested Maoist supporters were identified as Kalachand Pal and Simanta Pal, both residents of Mahatam village under Ghatshila police station limits, he said. Asked about the contractor, Mathew said the levy was collected from the munshi (assistant), Chotu Mahato, of one Ashok Agarwal, who was a contractor currently engaged in construction of a canal in the sub-division.
The activities of Rahul, a resident of Bankura district of West Bengal, was noticed in the recent past after a long gap following Mahato's killing. Continuous anti-Maoist operation derived a desirable result as the strength and activities of the ultras have been reduced to great extent, Mathew claimed adding the security personnel were now focused on breaking their financial resources to wipe them out from the district.
"We have been trying to identify the local links generating or collecting funds for the ultra," he said. Asked about illegal mining of gems (emerald), which has become one of the major financial source for the Maoists, Mathew said the police have also launched a drive against the illegal mining and arrested people involved in it.
Two Jaipur-based gem traders were recently arrested from Dalbhumgarh in the sub-division and illegally mined precious stones were recovered from them, he said. The SSP said the gem mines were situated in the Maoist stronghold of of Gorabandha, but the police have taken initiatives to check it.