Sunday, May 11, 2008

Maoist leader Ram Pravesh Baitha held

PATNA/MOTIHARI: Police on Friday nabbed Ram Pravesh Baitha, a top CPI (Maoist) leader, near Golghar under Gandhi Maidan police station.

Being a member of triple 'U' area committee of the banned Naxalite outfit, this dreaded Maoist was also heading the military commission of the outfit.

Triple 'U' stands for Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Uttar (north) Bihar. The police raided Golghar after a tip off that Baitha was holding a meeting with some of his accomplices, said Patna senior SP Amit Kumar and added that while Baitha was arrested his accomplices managed to escape.

Though no arms or ammunition were seized from the possession of this top Naxalite leader, yet police found some Naxalite literature from the place of his arrest.

A resident of Madhuban block in Bihar's East Champaran district, Baitha was a terror in north Bihar and his name figures in as many as 33 cases.

He was the mastermind of the June, 2005, incident in which Naxalites had laid a seize over Madhuban for hours. Baitha is also the main accused in the two incidents in which security personnel were either killed or injured in exchange of fire with the Naxalites.

One of these incidents dates back to 2007 in which a CRPF assistant commandant was killed in Madhuban block and the other in Vaishali district earlier this year in which the station house officer of Jandaha police station was injured in an encounter with the Maoist guerillas. Baitha was forwarded to the Beur Central Jail, Patna.

The East Champaran police and Patna STF had launched a joint drive for the last two years to arrest Baitha. Once again, the East Champaran police have sounded a red alert in the district after the killing of former mukhiya Nand Lal Prasad, who was also the husband of present mukhiya Pushpa Devi, near Madhuban on May 6.

East Champaran SP Nayyar Hasnain Khan said the attack on the former mukhiya had been made by CPI(Maoist) in which he died and his father and two brothers were injured. Ramanand Prasad, the deceased mukhiya's father was sent to PMCH for treatment and his two brothers were admiited in a Motihari-based hospital. The SP said the police have arrested Nawal Tewari, an accused in this murder case and raids are on to arrest the other accused.

About 25 persons have been accused in this case including Jagdish Mahto, a co-villager who has joined CPI(Maoist) recently.

Mahato is the main figure in this murder case as he had developed enmity with the deceased ex-mukhiya. Police said they have information that Maoists from Sheohar and Sitamarhi had participated in Madhubani Ghat attack. The CRPF, STF and SAP jawans have jointly raided Bardahan, Fahira, Khap, Dekahan and other villages.

Puspa Devi, Prasad's widow said Jagdish Mahato had demanded Rs 10 lakh as extortion from her husband about which the police knew but could do nothing to stop it.

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