Jharkhand Police has confirmed the arrest of a Naxal zonal commander and two of his associates from Basmata village under Masalia Police Station in the state’s Dumka district and seized detonators, transistors and Rs. 35,000 cash from their possession. Dumka Police has identified the commander as Kanchan Da, alias, Awadh Kishore, who is carrying a bounty of Rs. 10 lakhs on his head. His associates were identified as Gopal Rai and Okil Murmu.
They were arrested on Saturday in a joint operation of the district police and the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB). Kanchan, a member of the Communist Party of India (Maoist), was allegedly involved in many dreadful incidents.
In the 1980s, according to the police, Kanchan was working with the Home Guards, and joined the Naxals after the death of his father in 1997. At present, he was looking after his organisation’s affairs in Dumka, Godda, Jamtara and Pakur districts, and had been recruiting youth in the Santhal Pargana division into his organisation.
Dumka Superintendent of Police (SP) Prabhat Kumar told ANI, “The district police and the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) carried out a joint operation and arrested hardcore Naxal rebel Awadh Kishore Yadav, alias, Awadh Chandra Yadav, alias, Kanchan Da, alias, Mota, alias, Suresh Da, and his two accomplices Gopal Rai and Okil Murmur.”
He said the Naxal zonal commander was involved in many dreadful incidents, including the murder of Shamshad Ansari, the then Station House Officer of the Shikaripara Police Station at Pokharia in 2008; in the murder of the then Pakur SP Amarjeet Balihar, and five police personnel in Jamuni village under Kathikund police range in 2013 and in the killing of eight polling officers, along with a policemen, during the 2014 general elections at Sarsajol village under Shikaripara Police Station among others.
He was also involved in the encounter between police and Naxals on September 10, 2010 in Kathikund’s Taldanga Hills, in which the then Station House Officer of the Jama Police Station Satanand Singh and three other policemen were killed; while his role is being probed into the murder case of Sister Valsa John in Pakur district’s Amrapara block in 2015, said the SP.
Prabhat Kumar said, Kanchan is expert in operating arms and has taken training in Giridih, while his two associates were also involved in many Naxal incidents.”