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Jharkhand landmine blast: 2 arrested; Maoists free 3

January 25, 2012 01:50 IST

The Jharkhand police on Tuesday arrested two persons, including a village sarpanch, for their alleged involvement with Maoists in the Saturday's landmine blast that claimed 13 lives, while the cadres released three persons from their custody.

"Bargarh village Mukhia Ramdas Minz and his aide Fida Hussain were arrested after we got evidence against them. They are charged with various sections like murder and criminal conspiracy," Garhwa Superintendent of Police Michael S Raj said.

The arrests were made after interrogation of at least six persons, including the two arrested persons, in connection with the January 21 landmine blast that took place when police were going to Bargarh after being informed about a shutdown and blockade by locals in protest against the location of an under-construction health centre.

Later during the day, Sudhir, who claimed to be the Maoist spokesman, informed over phone in Latehar that the Maoists had released zilla parishad chairperson Susma Mehta and two other "abducted" persons this morning and they would reach Garhwa by evening.

Mehta, her driver Ahmed and CPI (ML-Liberation) leader Akhtar Ansari reached the office of Superintendent of Police and met the officer in Garhwa.

"We have pleaded with the Maoists to free my security guard, Sunesh Ram, (too). But they said they would release him after two days," Susma claimed before the media in Garwha on her return after being in "Maoist captivity" for four days.

Constable Sunesh Ram was deputed as the security guard to the Zilla Parishad Chairperson, the Garhwa superintendent of police said.

Sudhir, however, during his telephonic call to the media in Latehar said the security guard would be freed only after the shifting of three base camps set up at Sarju, Odya and Kone in Latehar district of Jharkhand.

He also demanded the end of police operations against his fellow cadres.

When contacted, the Garhwa SP said Ram's family informed the police that he had not reached home.

"No, we don't know about that," he said when asked whether the policeman was still in the clutches of the Maoists.

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