A Maoist leader who is a key accused in the February murder of a police officer in West Bengal has been arrested from Bankura district, police said Thursday.
Babulal Tudu was arrested from his hideout in Barogaria forest of Simlipal police station late Wednesday night after a tip-off. "Firearms and ammunition were recovered from him," said Bankura police superintendent Pranav Kumar.
"Acting on a specific input, we conducted raids and arrested Tudu, who was the prime accused in the Feb 25 murder of Rabi Lochan Mitra, officer-in-charge of Sarenga police station. Tudu was also wanted in eight other cases, including murder and arson," Kumar told IANS over phone.
"He has been presented before Khatra local court and we will demand his police remand. His interrogation will definitely reveal important information on Maoists in the districts," said Kumar.
"Tudu, a resident of Koima village in Sarenga police station area, was a very close associate of the slain Sidhu Soren, founder president of the pro-Maoist tribal body's militia wing - Sidhu Kanu Gana Militia."
"We had information that Tudu was present beside Sidhu in the Metala forest of West Midnapore July 26 when a shootout took place between the squad members of Sidhu Soren and the joint forces," said the Bankura police chief.
"Sidhu and five other squad members were killed in the encounter while Tudu manage to escape. He is a prize catch," he added.
Maoists are active in three western districts of the state - West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia.