Chhattisgarh village panchayat secretary among 4 Maoist supporters held; booked under UAPA

A tractor belonging to Naxalites was also seized from their possession, police said.
Last Updated : 25 June 2024, 13:06 IST

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Manpur: Four supporters of Maoists, including a village panchayat secretary and a civil contractor, were arrested in Mohla-Manpur-Ambagarh Chowki (MMAC) district of Chhattisgarh and booked under an anti-terror law, police said on Tuesday.

A tractor belonging to Naxalites was also seized from their possession, they said.

Those arrested were identified as Mahesh Meshram (45), Arvind Tulavi (30), Ramkishan Yadav (50) and Sushil Sahu (54), Inspector General of Police (Rajnandgaon) Deepak Jha told reporters.

The tractor belonging to Naxalites was recovered from Tulavi who had been giving it on rent on the direction of the outlaws, he said.

"After getting inputs, a joint team of the state police's District Reserve Guard (DRG) and the Indo- Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) raided Tulavi's house and nabbed him. Based on his statement, others were apprehended," Jha said.

All four were booked under relevant provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), an anti-terror act, and the Indian Penal Code, the IPS officer informed.

Investigation carried out so far suggests Ramkishan Yadav, a resident of neighbouring Rajnandgaon district, is a civil contractor who had been handling various road works under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) and the state forest department in MMA district, he said.

Naxalites usually target vehicles and machines engaged in construction works in interior areas of MMAC district and adjoining Bastar division and collect illegal levy from contractors.

To avoid being targeted by Naxalites, Yadav paid Rs 7.50 lakh as levy for procuring a tractor for Maoists through Tulavi, a resident of Madanwada area (MMA), and Mahesh Meshram, a village panchayat secretary and resident of Manpur, a few years ago, police officer Jha disclosed.

Meshram arranged fake documents and along with Tulavi went to Rajnandgaon and sought support of Sushil Sahu, a salesman at a tractor showroom, for purchasing the vehicle widely used in farming-related works, construction and road building, he said.

Later, Tulavi and Meshram delivered the tractor to Maoist leaders Baldeo alias Ashok Reddy, Vijay Reddy alias Shankar and others in the Maad area, the IPS officer said.

Maoists deployed the tractor for farming activities and recently gave it to Tulavi for renting it out so that the money earned from its leasing could be used for procuring materials related to Maoist activities, according to the IG.

Tulavi and Meshram were in contact with Maoists from the last 10 years, the police officer said.

Published 25 June 2024, 13:06 IST

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