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Maharashtra ATS arrests 10 suspected Naxals

Staff Reporter

Mumbai: The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) has arrested 10 persons believed to be Naxals from West Midnapore in West Bengal. Five of them are in their late teens. “We arrested 10 persons from the Pune railway station complex yesterday [Thursday] at 11.15 p.m. as they were about to flee. Preliminary investigation showed that they were involved in operations in West Midnapore,” Rakesh Maria, ATS Chief, said at a press conference here on Friday.

The ATS officials seized Naxal literature, four 7.65 mm pistols (country-made) and seven rounds of cartridges from them. “We produced them in the court and they have been remanded to police custody till May 23,” he said. All of them came to Pune to escape from the West Bengal police, Mr. Maria said.

They have been booked under Sections 10, 13, 20, 38 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA); and Section 3 of the Arms Act.

He said six of the 10 arrested had police records in West Midnapore and were members of the Siddhu Kanhu Dalam.

“They are all grass root people, known as gun militia there,” Mr. Maria said. Only two of the 10 are well educated. One of the arrested is a member of the People's Liberation Guerilla Army (PLGA), he said.

The names of the arrested persons are: Nripin Mahato alias Sanna (23), Rudra Mahato (19), Anando Mahato (37), Robi Hansdas (19), Robi Mahato (19), Sushanto Mahato (36), Satyajit Rana (18), Ajit Mahato (35), Pintu Mahato (19), Kadu Hembram (21). Anando and Sushanto are brothers. Anando is an Arts graduate and Sushanto holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree.

Mr. Maria said Nripan, Anando and Robi Mahato were involved in the killing of a police informer in West Midnapore on November 2, 2010. Robi Hansdas is a member of the PLGA. He, along with Rudra, was involved in a bomb blast on June 30, 2010.

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