A Maoist sub-zonal commander, Ajay Yadav, who carried a reward of Rs 5 lakh on his head, and two other Maoist operatives were found dead, while another Maoist was arrested from the forests under Mohammadganj police station area of Jharkhand’s Palamu district on Friday morning. Yadav was involved in the Kala Pahad IED blast case in which seven police personnel were killed in Palamu on January 27, 2016.
The police said that it appeared the Maoist cadres had a gun-fight between themselves. The police denied the role of Tritiya Prastuti Committee (TPC), a Maoist splinter group.
According to the police, information about Maoists bodies was received early today, following which a joint team of the CRPF and the district police rushed to the jungles near Sita Chuan area under Mohammadganj PS. “We have recovered three bodies from the spot. Also, one person has been arrested. We have verified that one of the bodies was that of Ajay Yadav, aged around 39, and a zonal commander of the Maoists. The arrested person has been identified as Uday Oraon. The identity of the two others is being verified, although the arrested person has claimed that their names are Surendra and Virendra,” said DIG (Palamu) Vipul Shukla.
Shukla further added that the police have recovered huge amount of arms and ammunition. At least one AK-47, one SLR, one INSAS, one .303 rifle, one .315-bore fire arm and a semi-automatic rifle have been recovered in the search operation. Further, the police have recovered 650 cartridges, 11 mobile phones, 23 magazines, six backpacks, one IED flash, knives and swords etc.
The DIG added that Yadav, though only a sub-zonal commander, was involved in orchestrating most of the attacks in this region and had more than a dozen cases registered in different police stations of Palamu and Latehar. “He was the one who had engineered the Kala Pahad IED blast. Besides, though lower in rank, he controlled Maoist activity in the border areas of Palamu and Latehar,” he said.
The police are suspecting that the killing was a result of fight between Maoists themselves. “It is certainly not a case of TPC and Maoists engaging in encounter. Had that been the case, we could not have recovered so many weapons. They don’t leave weapons on the spot,” said Shukla.
The official added that a massive combing and search operations across Latehar and Palamu had been launched for the past six days. “It is possible that the Maoists had gathered in this area and there was some of an argument that led to the fight. Our search and cordon operation is continuing. Further probe is on. The development will have major impact on naxal activities in the area,” said Shukla.