The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Friday has arrested the wife of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) faction's regional commander Chhotu Kherwar, in a case related to the seizure of huge amount of cash belonging to Maoists. Absconder Lalita Devi was arrested from the Latehar district of Jharkhand. The CPI (Maoist) had been banned by the erstwhile UPA government under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) as a terrorist organisation in June 2009.
The NIA in a press release said, "NIA arrested absconding accused Lalita Devi wife of Chhotu Kherwar alias Sujit Kherwar alias Chhotu Ji, Regional Commander of CPI (Maoist) from Balumath area in case RC-01/2018/NIA/DLI."
A charge sheet was registered against Lalita Devi, her husband and three others in connection with the case. On September 14, the NIA had arrested the three accused but Lalita and her husband were absconding. However, the police are still in search to nab the regional commander. According to reports, the hunt was initiated last year following the seizure of the aforementioned huge amounts of cash and cash deposits in the name of Lalita Devi and her children.
"NIA investigation revealed that CPI (Maoist) leaders and operatives were investing extorted money in the Sahara Credit Co-operative Society and mutual funds. Cash worth Rs 3 lakh was seized from accused Chandan Kumar, besides recovery of receipts of the cash deposits to the tune of Rs 12 Lakhs in the name of Lalita Devi. The seized amount was received by Chandan Kumar, Manager of Sahara Credit Co-operative Society from Santosh Oraon and Roshan Oraon," the release read. Further investigation in the matter is underway.
Earlier, the Jharkhand's Dumka police on October 13 have arrested a Maoist Akash Murmu alias Saheb Hansda from Pune. Akash was reportedly involved in the attack on a polling party on April 24, 2014, during the Lok Sabha elections. He was also allegedly involved in the killing of then Superintendent of Police of Dumka district, Amarjit Balihar, six years ago, the officials said.
Speaking to the media, Dumka Superintendent of Police (SP) YS Ramesh said, "Akash Murmu alias Saheb Hansda alias Saibram Hembram, who carried a reward of Rs 1 lakh on his head, was arrested in Maharashtra's Pune on Sunday and brought here during the day. Hansda was working as a labourer to evade arrest. The Maoist is wanted in several cases in Dumka and Pakur districts."
(With ANI inputs)