Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Police seize arms stolen by surrendered Maoists

Nagpur, April 7 (IANS) The police have recovered arms and ammunition stolen by two Maoist-turned-informers, who fled from a police office in Maharashtra a week ago. Working on a tip-off, a joint search team of the Gadchiroli and Gondia police Sunday found two AK-47 rifles, a hand-grenade and seven magazines dumped under a paddy stack in Gadchiroli district’s Khursipar village, 100 km from here.

The two Maoists, Arjun and Korcha, had fled on a police motorcycle from the Deori sub-divisional office of Gondia district police March 29 carrying the arms and ammunition with them.

The two, hailing from Gadchiroli, who had surrendered to the police in 2006, were since living in the Deori police office precincts and working as informers.

Stunned by the ‘betrayal’, police forces of the two Maoist-infested districts in eastern Vidarbha had set up a search team comprising 200 constables and seven officers including the Gondia district superintendent of police and launched an intense combing operation the next day.

“The recovery of the arms and ammunition is a major breakthrough that has brightened the prospects of the two fugitives’ early arrest and provided impetus to the search operations,” Gondia district Superintendent of Police Pradip Deshpande told IANS Monday.

The weeklong search in the two districts was based on intelligence received daily, he added.

Gadchiroli Superintendent of Police Rajesh Pradhan said the two Maoists on the run had no alternative now but to surrender to police again.

“They are armless and severely handicapped now as they cannot go back to the Maoist fold - they will be killed instantly if they do so - and cannot find a hiding place and sustenance any more,” Pradhan said.

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