Maoist leader nabbed in Bargarh

Bargarh police arrested a hardcore Maoist, in-charge of the Sambalpur-Deogarh-Sundergarh zonal committee, from his hideout on Tuesday. Bargarh SP Kabita Jalan said on Tuesday police got information about Girish Mahanto, alias Uttam, and arrested him along with one Shankar Munda from Attabira area of the district.

“On Tuesday morning at about 5 am, district police got a reliable input regarding movement of state committee member Girish Mahanto along with his associates in Canal road area. A special district police team raided the place and nabbed Mahanto and his associate Shankar Munda from Kharmunda village under Attabira police station limits of Bargarh district,” said SP Jalan. According to her, police registered a case U/s 120-B/121/121 (A)/122/123 IPC, 18/20/38 Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act-1967 and 25 Arms Act in Attabira police station and started an investigation. “It was a major breakthrough for police and it will definitely encourage security forces engaged in the region to curb Maoist activities,” she said.

Police seized several arms and weapons from Mahanto’s possession, which include a loaded revolver, 12 live cartridges, a compass, map of Odisha and Bargarh, cash worth Rs 2,290 and sketches of the district armoury of Bargarh and Bargarh police station. Police also seized literature and leaflets containing anti-government writing by the banned CPI Maoist organization.

Sources said, Girish was earlier arrested on November 14, 2007 at Bariatu under Ranchi police station of Jharkhand, but he managed to flee from Chainbasa jail on January 18, 2011 after breaking the jail. He was in charge of the Sambalpur-Deogarh-Sundergarh zonal committee from 2003 to 2007 and played an active role in organizing the outfit in the Western part of the state, especially in Deogarh, Sambalpur, Baragarh and Sundargarh districts.

Sources said Mahanto was involved in about 22 crime cases in Sambalpur and four each in Deogarh and Bargarh district. He was the prime accused in the Burda firing case under Sambalpur’s Kisisnda police station limits that took place on March 25, 2005, in which five villagers were killed. Police said Mahanto was trying to re-organize the outfit in Sambalpur and Bargarh districts after his jailbreak and was involved in several incidents in Sambalpur and Bargarh districts in recent times.

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