Maoist held while campaigning for wife in JharkhandBy IANS
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
RANCHI - A Maoist guerrilla was arrested Wednesday in Jharkhand’s Garwah district while he was urging people to vote for his wife in the ongoing panchayat polls, police said.
“We arrested Surendra Ram from Makri village in Garwah. He was trying to influence voters in favour of his wife Seema Devi, who is fighting panchayat polls. We seized one pistol and live cartridges from the Maoist,” a police official told IANS from Garwah.
Surendra Ram is a sub-zonal commander of the banned Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) and he faces nine criminal cases, including for murder.
In Jharkhand, scores of Maoists’ kin are contesting the first ever panchayat polls since the state was carved out of Bihar in November 2000.
Due to the Maoist threat, over 3,000 candidates in panchayat polls have been elected unopposed for different posts in the state. According to police sources, majority of the candidates who have been elected unopposed have the support of Maoist guerrillas.
The five-phase panchayat polls in Jharkhand began Nov 27. The last panchayat polls were held in 1979 when Jharkhand was part of Bihar. The polls were delayed in Jharkhand due to a legal battle over reservation of seats for tribals.