Ranchi: A ruling coalition legislator in Jharkhand has locked horns with a surrendered Maoist daring him to confront with him once out of jail threatening the rebel that he would not hesitate taking the law into his hands to avenge his father’s murder.
Tamar legislator Vikas Munda, one of the four legislators of All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) Party that shares the ruling benches in the state assembly with the BJP, is agitated against his own government’s police for according a warm welcome to dreaded Maoist leader, Kundan Pahan, who officially laid down arms before senior police functionaries in Ranchi on Sunday. Accused of 128 criminal cases, 37-year-old, Pahan had voluntarily walked into police custody around 10 days back.
After thoroughly interrogating him and raiding few of his hideouts, the police eventually produced him before media announcing his surrender on Sunday. At the Ranchi DIG office, Pahan was allowed to deliver a long lecture from a podium where he ridiculed police for fearing him for years, announced his decision to contest elections once out of jail ‘sooner’ and justified his decision of severing ties with the rebel group as ‘it had lost the ideology and principles it once stood for’.
The moment he completed his parroted speech, Pahan was immediately given a cheque for Rs 15 lakh as reward for the surrender and for his rehabilitation.
Among the 77 people Pahan has allegedly killed during the last 15 years of his association with the Left insurgent group CPI (Maoist), included the AJSU legislator’s father and ex-minister Ramesh Singh Munda.
In an audacious act, Pahan and his guerilla squad members sprayed bullets on the ex-minister while he was speaking at a function in a school in Bundu on July 9, 2008. His crime: The ex-minister was vocal against the Maoists’ wanton killing of innocent and gullible villagers.
Vikas was barely 24 years old then while his two other siblings were minors. A year later, pushed by his father’s followers and local populace, Vikas contested his maiden poll but Pahan spoiled his chances of victory by threatening his die-hard followers to abstain from polling. He allegedly went on to support the rivals in fray.
Vikas did not give up and successfully contested the next two elections from the seat. “He got every person in my constituency, who raised voice against his torments, killed. But I never feared him as the people were by my side. Of late, he had to flee the area as the people were up in arms against him.”
Vikas smells a greater conspiracy hatched by some politician-police nexus behind Pahan’s ‘planned’ surrender and the hero’s welcome he got. He said, “The police had been entertaining the fugitive criminal for the last one month giving him joyrides in their vehicle. The serial killer he is, Pahan should have been arrested and hanged for eliminating 77 people. Instead, the police-politician nexus made him surrender in style and seemed to be helping him to further his political ambitions.”
The young legislator has demanded a CBI probe into Pahan’s stage-managed surrender. “He deserves no less than capital punishment. If the government fails to prosecute the criminal sincerely and if he comes out of the jail to bully us, I will lead the charge to tame him,” said Vikas.