Uttar Pradesh ATS arrested a total of 10 Maoists including a self-styled commander carrying a reward of Rs 5 lakh in a mid-night operation that extended from Saturday night to Sunday in Noida and Chandauli. Nine suspected Maoists were arrested from two hideouts in Noida while one, Sunil Ravidas, was arrested from Chandauli and recovered a huge cache of arms and ammunition from them.
The left-wing extremists were adept at making bombs and were planning some incidents in the Delhi-NCR region, IG (UP Special Task Force) Aseem Arun said at a hurriedly convened press conference in Noida.
Speaking to media, State IG ATS said that three more naxals with explosives and detonators were arrested from a residential area at Hindon Vihar area in Noida.
Pradeep Singh Kharwar from Bariatu village in Jharkhand’s Latehar district was arrested during a joint operation by the Uttar Pradesh Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) and intelligence agencies last night.
The self-styled area commander was hiding in Noida since February 2012. He carried a reward of Rs. 5 lakh on his arrest.
These Naxals were active in eastern UP and adjoining parts of Bihar and had made Noida their base. They had rented two flats and posed as property dealers, Arun said.
He said 550 live cartridges, an INSAS rifle, two other rifles and three self-loading rifle magazines were recovered from them besides a huge quantity of explosives and detonators.
The recovery of the INSAS rifle showed that they must have looted it from security personnel as the weapon is used by them against the ultras, he said.
Their arrest have raised questions on whether they now have expanded more than what was believed earlier. Earlier there used to be reports of them attacking our army convoys, villagers and killing villagers on suspect of them being police informers. Of course, violence created by them over the years is not less then terrorist acts. However, till are not known to denote blasts in the national and state capitals.
Those arrested have been identified as Pawan Jharkhand of Madhubani in Bihar, Ranjit Paswan of Chandoli in UP, Sachin Kumar of Dankaur in Greater Noida, Krishna Kumar Ram from Sasaram in Bihar, and Suraj, a resident of Bulandshahr in UP. Suraj was the group’s local contact for conducting operations in the Delhi-NCR area, said sources.