Ranchi, April 8: Police believe the person arrested on April 6 and identified as Jeeten Marandi is a key Naxalite leader, but human rights activists differ.
The police are of the opinion that Marandi is the same person accused of killing the son of former chief minister Babulal Marandi.
Giridih superintendent of police Murari Lal Meena said that he would soon take Marandi on remand and find out if he had masterminded the killing of 17 persons, including the son of former chief minister Babulal Marandi.
He, however, did not give any deadline for taking the rebel in remand. “Jeetan Marandi’s name appears in the list of the accused in the FIR lodged after the massacre at Chilkhari in Giridih,” Meena said.
Senior superintendent of police of Ranchi M.S. Bhatia said the latter was a wolf in lamb’s clothing.
“He delivered anti-national speech in front of chief minister’s residence last October and challenged the constitution of the country like rebels do,” Bhatia said.
Police sources said that recovery of a laptop and a mobile phone along with other documents from Marandi have given police an insight into the training programme of Maoists in West Singhbhum, East Singhbhum, Seraikela-Kharsawan and Santhal Pargana.
Sources, however, said that Jeeten Marandi, who is in judicial custody, is a cultural activist and penned a few articles for a local Hindi daily and had nothing to do with the mass killing that took place in Giridih last year.
“Jeeten is not associated with any rebel group. He is a member of Jharkhand Evan — a Santhali tribal organisation with Left inclination. The day he was arrested his article was published in a vernacular daily. He has got trapped in a rivalry between two Hindi dailies published from the state capital. He is a resident of Pirtand in Giridih and a struggling personality,” sources said.
State general secretary of People’s Union of Civil Liberty (PUCL) Shashi Bhusan Pathak supported the fact saying that the police were trying to implicate him in a false case by taking advantage of his name.
“An FIR was lodged against Marandi at Kotwali police station for participating in a procession that laid siege over the chief minister’s house like several other democratic organisations do. Police forwarded him to Birsa Munda Central Jail and are now trying to associate his name with the killer of Babulal Marandi’s son. This practice is wrong,” Pathak said.