Two suspected Maoists, including a 27-year-old woman, have been arrested and illegal arms and ammunition recovered from their possession in Purulia district, police said Saturday.
“Acting on a tip off, we arrested Kabita Ghorai alias Kalpana alias Sarala and 28-year-old Panchanan Mahato near Hanumata Bridge on Tata-Purulia Main Road in the district on Friday. We also recovered a 7.6 mm pistol, two magazines, six rounds of ammunition and a single-shot pistol from them. The two accused have been booked under section 25A and 27 of Arms Act,” SP, Purulia, Rupesh Kumar told The Indian Express.
While Kabita originally belongs to Dangardaha in Bankura district, Mahoto is from Baliya Mankiary in Purulia. “As per the inputs received, both are active members of the Dalma squad led by Ranjit Pal alias Tarit alias Prabhatji,” a senior official said, adding they were nabbed while on way to Purulia from Jharkhand. The Dalma squad of Maoists primarily operates in the East Singhbhum region of Jharkhand. A tribal squad, most of its leaders and cadres are from Bengal.
A senior police officer said both Kabita and Mahato have at least six cases, two at Balarampur police station and four in Malda, including that of sedition, pending against them.
According to sources, in a move to regain numerical strength, Maoists have once again become active on Bengal-Jharkhand border and are also allegedly visiting villages in Purulia and Midnapore districts. They said Maoists led by their leaders Ranjit Pal and Madan Mahato are constantly on the move and have been holding regular meetings with the villagers. “They are trying to develop their support base in the area,” said a senior officer.
According to sources, the Maoists are urging the youth in the forested areas to join or support their cause. Small groups are fanning out to remote areas to interact with villagers and “share their pain”, an activity not witnessed since the death of Maoist leader Kishenji in an encounter with joint forces in November 2011 in West Midnapore. SP Ruesh Kumar, however, denied receiving any such inputs. “There is no such input from intelligence about increased movements of Maoist in Purulia as such,” he added.