Rourkela, Dec 7 (UNI) Damdev, the chief of Maoist in Western Orissa, was arrested today during a joint operation by the local police and the Special Operation Group (SOG) from the Khasbahal slum area in the steel city.
Rourkela Superintendent of Police Ravi Kant told mediapersons here that the police had recovered one nine mm pistol of Italy made, 60 rounds of cartridges, two mobile phones and radio besides Rs 2.23 lakh cash from his possession.
The SP said Damdev alias Ashok, being the chief of Maoist group in Western Orissa, used to decide the organisational set up and prepare various plans for Sundargarh, Sambalpur and Deogarh districts.
The Maoist, he said, had enrolled nearly 1,300 people from Orissa in the Vikash Committee and imparted training to them in Orissa and Jharkhand. He was also involved in several cases of kidnapping and extortion in the two states besides the murder of Meghpal Sarpanch Kedar Singh under Jujumara police station in Sambalpur district.
The SP said Damdev had purchased a plot in the slum and was residing with his wife and two daughters. He had his own auto and was getting Rs 100 per day by giving it on hire.
Mr Kant said Damdev along with another top ranking Maoist James who was arrested by the Sambalpur Police, had formed three committees namely Vikash Committee, Kharia Committee and Kissan Committee.
He was forwarded to a local court with a request to be remanded to police custody for further interrogation, the SP added.