Wanted Maoist commander injured in encounter

RANCHI: Maoist sub-zonal commander Kundan Pahan, wanted by police in more than two dozen cases including the murder of former state welfare minister Ramesh Singh Munda and the loot of Rs 5 crore of the ICICI Bank, has sustained gunshot injuries in an encounter.

The Maoist leader was injured in an encounter with security forces in Saranda forest of West Singhbhum district last month. However, the state police was not aware of his identity until Saturday.

Ranchi SSP Saket Kumar Singh said that they came to know about this on Saturday when two close associates of Pahan were arrested from Tamar area, around 55 kilometres from here, during an early morning raid. The two Maoists have been identified as Sukhlal Munda alias Suresh Munda alias Badaku alias Chattan and Etwari alias Vidramani alias Shakuntala alias Suku from Hurugdih village.

“We had information that some senior Maoists had sustained gun-shot injuries during the encounter on December 21. But we didn’t know their identity. On Saturday, Chattan during his interrogation confirmed that Pahan was one among those who sustained gun-shot injury in his right thigh during the encounter and needed medical care,” said Singh adding that they have stepped up efforts to nab the injured Maoists.

One of the injured Maoists, who had sustained injury in his right hand on the same day, was arrested by Ranchi police last week from Pandra area of the city where he had taken shelter in a house of his associate.

The SSP said that Pahan along with Chattan was also involved in the killing of six policemen including DSP Pramod Kumar in July 2008. “We are keeping a close eye on the movement of suspected people in hospitals and nursing homes and expect that more rebels will be arrested in the days to come,” said the SSP.

Rs 5 crore of the ICICI Bank was looted by Maoists led by Pahan in May 2008 when the cash was being transported to Ranchi from Jamshedpur. The former minister was killed by Maoists in July 2008 during a function in a government high school.


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