Police said they found a pistol and five cartridges on the top Maoist commander (File)
A top Maoist leader who has been carrying a Rs 45 lakh bounty and wanted by the police in Jharkhand and Odisha has been arrested in West Singhbhum district, a senior police officer said today. Motilal Soren, also known by a second name as Sandeep Soren, was the zonal commander of the CPI (Maoist).
DIG (Kolhan) Saket Kumar Singh said police got information that Sandeep Soren would come to a football ground to see a match, after which the police immediately sealed off the area yesterday evening. Superintendent of Police Anish Gupta led the operation.
Police said they found a 9 millimetre pistol and five cartridges on him, while six bombs have been recovered on leads given by him during interrogation, the DIG said.
The Jharkhand government had announced a bounty of Rs 25 lakh for his capture, while the Odisha government announced a Rs 20 lakh reward, the senior police officer said.
Sandeep Soren, who was active in Saranda in Odisha's West Singhbhum, was the mastermind of the Chaibasa jailbreak case in 2011, the police officer said, adding that he and two other Naxals managed to escape then.
The DIG said 19 cases have been filed against Sandeep Soren before the jailbreak, while 17 more cases have been filed against him after that in West Singhbhum alone. He was allegedly involved in the killings of two villagers in Jetiya police station limit last month.