West Singhbhum cops arrest Maoist commander, wife

JAMSHEDPUR: Dreaded extremist and self-styled zonal commander of the banned CPI (Maoist), Johnson alias Chander Ganjhu, has been arrested along with his wife, Anita alias Budhni, from Manoharpur police station area of West Singhbhum district, police said.

West Singhbhum SP Pankaj Kamboj said Johnson was wanted in over 30 cases, including the Manoharpur rail track blast case. The couple was arrested about a km away from the Posaita railway station near Rongo village under the Manohapur police station.

The Bilaspur-bound passenger Up train was derailed at Ghagra in Manoharpur under Chakradharpur railway division on the night of November 21, 2009. Two persons, including a year-old baby and her mother, were killied and over a dozen passengers were injured in the incident. The rebels had triggered three can bomb explosions on the tracks at Ghagra when the 312 Up Tata-Bilaspur passenger was crossing the route.

“A country-made revolver, two live cartridges and a cash of Rs 17,100 was recovered from the arrested rebels,” the SP said without disclosing when the couple was arrested.

It is learned that the couple was arrested a day ago.

Johnson, a mastermind of several Maoist-related incidents, hails from Keredari area in Hazaribag district. He shifted to Saranda forest area, known as a safe haven of Maoists the extremists, in the early years of last decade (2000-2010). His wife Anita, a resident of Ranchi district, is also a hardcore Maoist. She too is co-accused in several criminal incidents.

“The Jharkhand government had declared a reward of Rs 3 lakh for Johnson’s arrest,” the SP said.

In a separate incident, the Sonuwa police on Thursday arrested suspected Maoist sympathizers Tooti Barjo and Bidrai Soy. Both are active members of the Krantikari Kisan Committee (KKC).

“They were wanted in connection with the firing on a police party at Pandwa area of the district few days back,” Kamboj said.


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