Jamui, May 22: The count started from 150, came down to 98 and finally 52 Naxalites, including six women, were produced before the Jamui district court today. All of them were forwarded to judicial custody.
The arrested rebels were not sent to the overcrowded Jamui district jail, though. They were shifted to neighbouring prisons for “security” reasons.
The rebels’ arrest began on Tuesday night after special task force and district police teams received tip-off and arrested 98 persons, including 25 women.
The arrests later snowballed into a controversy as general secretary of Bihar state Bidi Majdoor Union Shiv Shanker Singh alleged that the forces had nabbed members of their organisation — a local body of workers involved in bidi trade.
Singh further alleged that the arrests and subsequent identification of civilians as Naxalites were “instructed” by state welfare minister Damodar Routh, who represents the Jhajha Assembly constituency.
He explained that their union had recently aired grievances against Routh for his role in an alleged embezzlement of provident funds by a Jhajha-based bidi company, Ram Prasad and Sons, that enjoys Routh’s patronage.
Jamui superintendent of police Vinay Kumar, however, rejected allegations.
“Top leaders such as Kundan Da, Chiragh, Barka and Sunil were present at the villages and addressing meetings,” he said. He added that the police identified the rebels after verifying identities of each and every arrested person. “We have not detained a single person unlawfully,” he told the media today.
Deputy inspector-general of police (Munger) Monohar Prasad has directed all police stations in Jamui, Munger and Lakhisarai to keep be on alert.