A former dreaded member of the outlawed CPI (Maoist), who had become a symbol of terror in Maoist-infested Jharkhand, is said to have surrendered.
Kundan Pahan, a Most Wanted Maoist, who was carrying a bounty of Rs 15 lakh on his head, has surrendered before the Jharkhand Police, said sources. He was allegedly involved in about 120 cases, including murder of MLA & MP and brutal, Taliban-style beheading of intelligence officer Francis Induwar. The development comes soon after Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh held a meeting in the national capital with 10 chief ministers of Maoist-invested states to deal with the menace and ways to make surrender policy attractive.
The police, however, have neither confirmed nor denied his surrender. However, according to sources, the Jharkhand Police is likely to announce it on Sunday and produce him. Jharkhand Police spokesperson R.K. Mallick could not be contacted for his version.
Pahan was a notorious Maoist commander, who first came to limelight in 2008 when he looted Rs 5 crore from the cash van of ICICI Bank in March and execution of the then JDU MLA Ramesh Singh Munda in July. He was also allegedly involved a landmine blast, killing six police personnel, including a DSP Pramod Kumar.
In 2009, he beheaded the intelligence officer Induwar, a tribal, and placed his head about 10 feet away from the body on NH 33, which led to widespread outrage against the Maoists. It was after this incident that the Centre launched an all-out war against the Maoists in the region. At that time, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi had visited the bereaved family of Induwar to offer his condolences.
Pahan was also accused of killing five police personnel. He group was also said to be behind the ghastly murder of Sunil Mahto, the then Jamshedpur MP, in 2007.
This is to be noted that another dreaded Maoist Nakul Yadav, who also carried a reward of Rs 15 lakh, surrendered about a month ago. However, the police officially announced it this month. Kundan Pahan, alias Vikas Pahan, was expelled from the CPI (Maoist) in 2014 as he was “not adhering” to the party guidelines. He joined the outfit allegedly to sort out a family property dispute. One of his brothers, Dimba Pahan, had also surrendered in January this year, while his another brother Shyam Pahan was arrested by Haryana police in February.