Devendra Ambika Paswan alias Vishalji, one of the most wanted Maoist commanders who the police believe led some of the deadliest attacks on security forces, was arrested in Gujarat on Wednesday.
Vishalji, who hails from Bhauliya village in Garhwa district, was arrested from his brother’s residence in Mundra Por area of Kutch West district.
A Jharkhand police team has left for Gujarat to secure his custody, said Garhwa superintendent of police SK Jha.
Vishalji had commanded an elite Maoist guerrilla attack squad in Jharkhand besides rebel squads in Bihar and Chhattisgarh.
He was wanted in a 2012 land mine attack that killed 14 police personnel in Bandariya, about 190km south-west of Ranchi. The Maoists had also looted the weapons
of the deceased policemen.
Kutch West superintendent of police DN Patel told PTI that Paswan had joined Maoist Communist Centre of India as a member in 2003 and when the MCCI merged with People's War Group, he was made an area commander.
He was first arrested in 2005 in connection with a murder in his native district. He resumed extortion after his release on bail in 2011, Patel said.
He continued raising funds for the party through extortion for two years while hiding in Jharkhand forests, but realised that his seniors were using the money for their personal benefits, which he conveyed to his leaders on leaving the Maoist outfit, Patel said.
He was, however, threatened with dire consequences, following which he ran away and took shelter at his brother's place in Kutch, where he started working as a labourer, he added.
(With PTI inputs)