A joint team of Jharkhand and Delhi police on Sunday arrested former Jharkhand agriculture minister Yogendra Sao, accused of harbouring and operating two extremist outfits—Jharkhand Tiger Group (JTG) and Jharkhand Bachao Aandolan (JBA)—in Hazaribagh area from Sukurpur area in Delhi.
The team arrested Sao, Congress legislator from Barkagaon, from the house of one Panna Mahto at 662, M-Block, JJ Colony, Sukurpur area in Delhi.
The police sleuths including Jharkhand CID personnel swooped down at Mahto’s residence in wee hours on Sunday.
Sao is wanted in connection with an FIR lodged with Giddi police station in Hazaribagh district on September 1. The FIR was registered under various Sections of the Arms Act against five members of JTG. Of the five named accused three— Raj Kumar Gupta, Sandeep Sao and Nakul Sao—were arrested during a police raid conducted on September 1 at Ucharinga block.
Gupta, who headed JTG, disclosed during interrogation that former minister Sao operated the JTG and his personal assistant used to supply arms and ammunitions to the extremists. Minister’s official vehicle was used to ferry these weapons, he confessed before the police. HT is in possession of Gupta’s confessional statements.
Based on Gupta and other co-accused statements, the police wanted Sao in the case.
“We have arrested Sao from Delhi on Sunday. He will be produced before a judicial magistrate in Delhi to secure transit remand. Sao will be brought back soon,” said Anurag Gupta, Jharkhand police spokesperson.
The questioning of another co-accused Raju Sao revealed that that Sao, besides JTF, also formed JBA. He confessed that both the organizations were used to influence the voters.
Raju also informed the police that Sao funded these outfits including the funds necessary for the supply of weapons, vehicles (bikes) and mobiles phones. He disclosed names of people closely associated with JBA and Sao.
Looking into the gravity of allegations, the Jharkhand government has recently handed over the case from the police to the CID for thorough investigation. Sao had to resign from Chief Minister Hemant Soren’s cabinet after opposition posed a stiff demand of his resignation.