Jharkhand: Ex-Maoist to contest from Maoist-infested Tamar

Ranchi (IANS) Tamar seat situated on the outskirts of Ranchi likely to witness an interesting fight in the forthcoming Jharkhand Assembly polls.

Tamar Assembly seat had been in limelight for the wrong reasons. Dreaded Maoist leader Kundan Pahan belongs to the same area. He was synonymous with terror for more than 10 years in the area. After getting NIA court permission he has filed nomination papers to fight the polls.

Pahan is facing 128 criminal cases including 50 in Khuti and 42 in Ranchi district. He is also accused in the killing of former minister Ramesh Singh in 2008. He is also accused in the killing of special branch police inspector Francis Induwar and hijacking ICICI cash van and looting Rs 5 crore and two kgs of gold.

Naxalites had beheaded Induwar in 2013 who had been kidnapped by the Maoists demanding the release of three arrested Naxalites including Kobad Ghandy in exchange for the officer.

The body along with the severed head of 37-year-old Induwar, who worked in the intelligence wing of the state police, was found near Raisha Ghati under the Namkom police station area of Ranchi.

The killing had shocked the entire country and exposed the brutal face of the Maoists.

The other candidate who will fight polls is former Jharkhand minister Gopal Krishna Patar alias Raja Petre who is in jail. He will file nomination papers on November 16.

The NIA court has allowed him to fight the polls. He was arrested in 2017 by the NIA in connection with the murder of former state minister and JD-U legislator Ramesh Singh Munda in 2008.

Munda was gunned down by Maoist guerrillas on July 9, 2008 when he was attending a programme in a school on the outskirts of Ranchi. Maoist commander Pahan’s name had figured in the killing. Pahan surrendered in May 2017. The probe was handed over to the National Investigating Agency (NIA).

It was first case in which a politician has been arrested in the killing of another politician. NIA sources said that Raja Petre became a legislator from Tamar Assembly seat in 2009, which fell vacant after the murder of Munda.

Raja Petre had created history in Jharkhand as he had defeated then Jharkhand Chief Minister and JMM chief Shibu Soren in the January 2009 by-election to the Tamar seat. After Shibu Soren lost the poll, President’s Rule was imposed in Jharkhand.

Raja Petre was again elected legislator in the 2009 Assembly polls and became a minister.

The third interesting candidate is Vikas Munda son of Ramesh Singh Munda. Vikas Munda won the 2014 Assembly polls from All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) by defeating Raja Petre. He will fight the poll on a JMM ticket.

“People have already answered by ensuring the defeat of a conspirator (Raja Petre) in 2014 assembly poll. People have rejected the negative politics” Vikas Munda told IANS.

Asked about Kundan Pahan he said “I had expressed my view when he had surrendered. A criminal should be treated like a criminal. No mercy should be shown towards such dreaded criminals. Those who were doing misdeeds on the power of the gun are now talking about the welfare of the people. I will conclude that nature and signature do not change.”

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