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Arrested Dantewada BJP leader worked with Maoists for 10 years, says Chhattisgarh police

Jagat Pujari, the BJP district vice-president for Dantewada, was arrested Saturday for his alleged involvement in arranging supplies for Maoists.

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Raipur: A Chhattisgarh BJP leader arrested two days ago for alleged Maoist links is believed to have confessed that he has been working with the insurgents for 10 years, state police have told ThePrint.

Jagat Pujari, the BJP district vice-president for Dantewada, was arrested Saturday after a suspected accomplice, identified as Ramesh Usendi, told police about his links with Ajay Alami, a notorious Naxalite and ‘jan militia (public militia) leader’, Superintendent of Police (SP) Abhishek Pallav said when approached for comment about the arrest.

Usendi had been arrested earlier that day, following a tip-off, while he was allegedly out to deliver a new tractor to Alami, who carries a bounty of Rs 5 lakh. 

“After Usendi’s revelation, Pujari was asked by police to come to the Barsoor police station where he was arrested… he accepted his crime, claiming that he had a 10-year-old relationship with the Naxalites,” said Pallav, the SP for Maoist hotbed Dantewada. 

BJP was yet to take action against Pujari at the time of publishing this report, but a senior leader told ThePrint that the party would definitely dismiss him.


Also Read: Maoist insurgency far from over. After Bastar, Naxals’ new laboratory is in south India


‘On the radar for 8-10 months’

Speaking to ThePrint, Pallav said Pujari had been working as a supplier for the Maoists over the past decade, providing them with various “materials such as clothes, boots, food and, at times, even arms and ammunition”. 

According to Pallav, Pujari had been on their radar for a long time.

“We had intelligence reports about his activities for the past 8-10 months but action could not be taken, mainly for want of concrete evidence against him,” he said. “Moreover, since he is a local political person, he had to be tracked with due diligence or else they start making allegations against police. He was arrested after all the evidence was put in place.”

Ramesh Usendi, police said, was intercepted on the Barsoor-Chitrakoot Road on 13 June as he was going to deliver the tractor to Ajay Alami. 

During his interrogation, Pallav claimed, Usendi told police that Pujari had helped him purchase the new tractor for Alami “as instructed by the Maoist”. 

The two had met at Handawada village Friday and together travelled to Gidam to purchase a tractor with the money handed out to Usendi by Alami, police quoted Pujari’s accomplice as having said. 

Pallav said Pujari’s arrest was part of an ongoing drive by security forces to block Maoists’ funding and supply chains. “Maoists have now begun feeling the pangs of the lockdown as their regular supply network is already cut off,” he added. “They are unable to find tribal villagers as conduits, because of which contractors are being involved directly,” he said.

The Naxalites, Pallav added, have “of late begun to revive past contacts to get supplies since villagers and local public are unable to move out from their homes due to the lockdown”.

According to police, Pujari’s arrest may be followed by “more arrests of contractors and other known names” in the coming days.

The security forces are said to be “strictly tracking the mobile phones and other cyber activities of big Naxal leaders who carry a bounty of over Rs 5 lakh”, Pallav said. 

“Several real estate contractors, shopkeepers, tendu leaf (used to wrap bidis) contractors and other known names have come to the fore during our interceptions of mobile numbers of Naxalites in the past few months,” Pallav added. “They are in direct conversations with Maoists. More arrests will take place in coming days.”

BJP yet to act against Pujari

The Chhattisgarh BJP told ThePrint Monday that the party had not acted against Pujari so far but said that action was imminent. 

“According to my information, no decision has been taken against Pujari so far (by the state party leadership),” said party spokesperson and former MLA Srichand Sundrani.

“However, action against him is a foregone conclusion. He is bound to be expelled, he added. “Maoists are the first enemy of the BJP and the party cannot accept its workers being associated with ultras.”


Also Read: Maoists blame US for Covid-19, police say they are frustrated as supply network is hit


 

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2 COMMENTS

  1. I am so glad that finally the print is loosing their cool and now just to defame BJP they are spreading fake news. The original article is from Nav bharat (enavbharat.com) the viral fake article and it’s images are made by using their layout. You can find both fake and original on the internet. So guys don’t get fooled from these fake foreign funded media’s. Act educated and responsible. And don’t spread fake news like the print.

  2. Looking forward to Amit Shahji raising the gentleman’s name in his next rally on urban naxals.

    Hope Shri Arnab also devotes 2-3 episodes on the topic.

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