Hardcore Bengal Maoist arrested in Odisha

Baripada: A hardcore Maoist from neighbouring West Bengal, facing over 30 cases including murder, abduction and treason, and two others were arrested in Mayurbhanj district, police said today.

The rebel was picked up during a joint raid on a house by CRPF and police from village Budhakhamari in Bangiriposi area, 45 km from here, last night, Mayurbhanj district Superintendent of Police Dayal Gangwar told reporters here.

The Maoist, identified as Khokan Mahato (35) alias Khagen of village Simili under Jhargram police station of West Midnapore district in West Bengal, was an area commander, he said.

The two others arrested were identified as an associate Naba Mahato and Jitendra Mahanta in whose house the ultra had taken shelter, the SP said.

No seizure was made during the raid.

Khokan was wanted in around 30 cases in West Bengal and three in Orissa, Gangwar said.

The other cases in which Mahato is involved include extortion, kidnapping, murder and treason.

The rebel had allegedly formed a club in his village which was used for engaging youths in Maoist activities. The West Bengal police had recently raided the club and seized land mines and some Maoist literature, he said.

Khokan was also involved in the kidnapping and killing of a police constable, Sarkar Hembram, at Beliabeda on March six, the SP said.

The West Bengal police had been informed about the arrest of Khokan, who would be produced in court.