Suspected Maoist held in Delhi

A 42-year-old suspected Maoist, who was wanted in the murder of a senior police officer 12 years ago and had participated in an agitation for separate statehood for Jharkhand, was arrested in the capital. Police on Friday claimed the Maoist Pradeep Kumar Singh was hiding in a nearby township for the past three months after security forces intensified action in his state.

Pradeep Kumar Singh, an active member of People’s War Group (PWG) which merged with Maoist Communist Centre to form CPI (Maoist), was apprehended from Sector-24 Rohini yesterday on a tip off, Sanjay Jain, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime), told reporters here.

Singh, who hails from Latehar in Jharkhand, is wanted in the murder of Dr Ajay Kumar Singh, Superintendent of Police of Lohardaga.

In October 2000, he was part of a PWG team headed by one Guddu Oraon, who attacked on the police patrol party led by Kumar. After this ambush, the group split to evade police action. He then fled to Punjab and worked there for almost five years.

Pradeep went back to Jharkhand to revive his organisation. But, in a operation conducted by police forces in February this year, some of the members were killed. Somehow he managed to escape from there and came at his uncle's residence in NCR area.

Singh, a student of political science, joined student politics and started taking active part in agitations since his admission in an Intermediate college in Daltonganj in 1988.

He was a part of 'Jharkhand Mazdoor Kisan Sangrami Parishad'. He had taken active part in movement for creating a seperate state of Jharkhand and the Biri patta Daam Andolan. In 1997 he came to Delhi to take part in a rally in Delhi in support of a seperate Jharkhand State.

Jain claimed that Singh is now an ideologue and recruiter. ‘He is no more into the armed wing. His job is to motivate youngsters. He is a good orator and uses his propaganda to spread PWG influence,’ Jain said.

Singh’s 20-year-old son Rakesh, the local area commander of Maoists in Latehar, has a number of murder and kidnapping cases and is the ‘most wanted man’ in the area.

‘Our team found a person coming from the side of Rithala Metro Station.He was signalled to stop but after seeing police party, he tried to flee from the spot. He was overpowered by the police party.A loaded 7.65 mm pistol along with two live cartridges was recovered from his possession,’ Jain said.

‘Singh was part of the ambush party led by Guddu Oran, who attacked the police patrol party led by the then SP Ajay Kumar Singh,’ Jain said.

According to Singh, they were outside Pesrar village when their informers gave them the message that a white gypsy and a police jeep has been seen in the area.It was then that they decided to ambush the patrol party.

They knew the topography of the area and knew that the police team would not be able to go further and would return along the same route. ‘They planned the ambush very meticulously to inflict maximum damage.The team split up into three units.The first took charge of the firing, the second planted the landmines and the job of the last unit was to put up hurdles in order to stop the vehicles.

‘Singh was part of the firing squad. As there was not enough time to bury the mines, they simply placed the landmines on the road. But somehow the mines did not go off,’ Jain claimed.

Pradeep and others then started firing at the police party and the SP received two bullet injuries in his head and died on the spot.

Singh was declared proclaimed offender in the case and was absconding.

Singh also told police that he joined the People?s War Group in 1990.He was also a part of ‘Jharkhand Mazdoor Kisan Sangrami Parishad’.He had taken active part in movement for crating a separate state of Jharkhand and the ‘Biri Patta Daam’ Andolan.

In 1997, he came to Delhi to take part in a rally in Delhi in support of a separate Jharkhand State. After the murder of the SP, Jain said, his group split into several parts to evade police.

To escape from police and fallout of security forces counter operation, he fled to Punjab and worked there as a security guard for almost five years to hide himself.

Singh later went back to Jharkhand and allegedly revived his connection with Maoists and joined the organisation.He left Jharkhand this February after police intensified searches in Saryu jungles in Latehar.

He was holed up in jungles with his cadre but manages to escape from there. Singh had joined Inter College in Dalton Ganj in 1988 and was active in student politics.
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