At 28, he is accused of killing more than 70 people, most of them security personnel. The Jharkhand Police say Kundan Pahan is the state’s most wanted Maoist.
Executing his victims Taliban-style these days, the Naxalite leader masterminded the abduction and cold-blooded murder of Special Branch inspector Francis Induwar this week.
Abducted on September 30, Induwar’s body was found on the Ranchi-Jamshedpur highway on Tuesday morning; he had been beheaded.
“Pahan has an element of public support,” said Deputy Inspector General (Ranchi range) R K Mallick. “That is why he has been eluding arrest so far.”
Born in a peasant family in Jharkhand’s Tamad block, around 70 kilometres from Ranchi, Kundan leads the CPI (Maoists) Platoon 39, a guerrilla squad that carries out killings, abduction, loot and extortion.
Of the platoon’s 40-45 guerrillas, about 17 are women, a former Naxalite revealed during interrogation, police said
Besides killing security personnel, alleged police informers and innocent civilians, it has been accused of killing Janata Dal (United) legislator Ramesh Munda.
On May 21, 2008, the group looted Rs 5 crore from an ICICI Bank van on National Highway 33, police said.
Pahan, who carries an AK-47 and two light machine guns looted from the police, joined CPI (Maoists) in 1999 after some relatives drove his family out of the village over a land dispute.
“His elder brother, Dimba Pahan, now in jail, initiated his brothers’ into the Naxal fold,” said a secret agency officer.
Wielding considerable influence in 220 of India’s 626 districts, Communist Party of India (Maoists) rebels have killed more than 200 security personnel across Jharkhand, Orissa, Bihar, West Bengal, Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh.
In Jharkhand, where the party has a presence in all 24 districts, the rebels have killed over 339 policemen in the last six years.