In a move that will severely hit the operational strength of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) in Jharkhand’s most affected regions, the Latehar Police and 11th battalion of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) have nabbed a zonal commander who was involved in multiple killings in the region for over a decade. Narayan Yadav alias Kaushal (40) was nabbed early this morning when he was visiting his lover’s house Palleya village under the Manika Police Station in Latehar.
With a total of 25 cases registered against his name, Yadav carried a reward of Rs 3 lakh on his head and his arrest will severely dent the insurgent group’s capability.
“It is a big boost for us. Yadav’s association with the Maoists runs deep. He has been involved with them since 1998, when it was called the Maoist Communist Centre (MCC),” said Dr. Michael Raj, Superintendent of Police, Latehar. He was arrested in the past but had managed to flee from the prison, a decade ago.
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Giving details of the operation, being termed as an intelligence-based one, an officer revealed, “We got an input about him coming to meet a woman he was in love with. This input came in by 11:30pm last night and we mobilised a platoon (nearly 30 men) and trekked into the region for nearly four hours to reach the spot.” When the place was identified, it was cordoned off and Yadav tried hiding but troops stormed in and made the arrest. Yadav was alone at the time of his arrest. From the site, the joint team recovered his personal .315 rifle, four cartridges, two detonators as well as Maoist literature – an indication of how he was unguarded and not expecting an arrest.
As of now, Yadav has been remanded to judicial custody and the police will seek his custody soon. A native of the same village where he was arrested, Yadav joined the ranks when the entire area was dominated by the Maoists.
BOX: Recent incidents in Latehar, Jharkhand
- January 2013: 11 men from the CRPF were killed when they were ambushed in the Katiya forest
- March 2013: 24 LPG cylinders, 18 pressure cookers and six kilograms of explosives recovered
- April 2013: Maoists blew up railway tracks at 10:30pm, roughly 309 minutes before the passage of Rajdhani Express
- April 2013: Seven Maoist cadres gunned down in a gun battle
- June 2013: Eight Maoists shot down in a gun battle
- September 2013: Maoists abducted ten children to recruit them as soldiers. One of them died while he was being trained.
- November 2013: Five security forces personnel injured in an encounter
- November 2013: 22 Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) seized by forces
- December 2013: Twelve landmines recovered
(Data courtesy: South Asia Terrorism Portal)