Five Maoists were arrested by the joint security forces after they launched a massive manhunt for top Maoist leader Kishenji suspected to be hiding in the jungles of West Midnapore's Jhargram area, police sources said on Wednesday.
Following intelligence inputs that Maoist leaders Kishenji alias Koteshwar Rao and Suchitra Mahato might be hiding in jungles at Nalbani, Lalbani or Khusbani in Jhargram, the forces raided the areas which led to the arrest of five rebels though there was no sign of the leaders, said the sources.
A massive combing operation has been launched by the security forces to look for the top rebels. Forces deployed in Jharkhand have also been alerted and asked to join in.
A large quantity of arms and ammunition have also been recovered in the operation, the sources said.
The security forces have resumed counter offensive operation in Junglemahal (Maoist affected areas of West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia) after getting a go ahead from West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee.
The state government has also brought back former West Midnapore superintendent of police Manoj Verma, who was awaiting posting, to head the counter insurgency force.