NIA arrests former Jharkhand minister for 2008 killing of MLA

New Delhi: Former Jharkhand minister Gopal Krishna Patar was today arrested by the NIA for allegedly conniving with Naxalites to get his political rival, MLA Ramesh Munda, killed in 2008, a spokesperson for the agency said.

Patar, alias Raja Peter, was arrested in Ranchi, the spokesperson said.

Patar had shot to fame after he defeated Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) chief Shibu Soren in the Tamar bypoll, forcing him to step down as chief minister in 2009.

He was a minister in the Arjun Munda government that had recommended dissolution of the house to then governor Syed Ahmed.

Patar, who was appointed president of the Janata Dal- United, joined BJP in 2014. However, he was denied a ticket and contested the 2014 election as an independent candidate but lost.

His arrest comes a day after the NIA arrested Jharkhand Police Assistant Sub-Inspector Sheshnath Singh, who allegedly provided prior information about Munda’s movement to the Naxals.

Munda, a Janata Dal (U) MLA, was killed when he was delivering a speech at a function in Bundu in his assembly constituency Tamar on July 9, 2008.

His two bodyguards were also killed in the attack.

The NIA took over investigation of the case on June 30 this year.