The 39-year-old most-wanted Maoist operative Sukhlal Murmu alias Prabir da alias Pravin da had led an ambush on security personnel and election officials during the Lok Sabha elections earlier this year in the Shikaripara police station area where eight persons were killed in a landmine explosion, said DIG (Dumka) Priya Dubey and district Superintendent of Police, Anup T Mathew.
Murmu had led an ambush on then Pakur SP Amarjeet Singh Balihar while he was returning to Pakur after attending a meeting in Dumka on July 2, 2013 and killed the officer and five other police personnel, they said adding, he was also the main accused in the killing of a social activist Sister Valsa John in Pakur district about four years ago.
Murmu was wanted by the Police in over 22 Maoist-related cases in Dumka district, one in Giridih and five in Pakur district including an encounter with security personnel in Pokharia under Shikaripara police station, which killed the officer-in-charge Shamsad Ansari in 2008. Murmu was also wanted in killing of a BSF jawan and loot of arms, killing of officer-in-charge of Jama police station Satanand Singh in the Talpahari jungle under Kathikund police station and others.
The police officers said the Maoist hit squad, which Murmu used to lead, had over two dozen activists laced with INSAS, AK-47 rifles and other sophisticated arms. The Maoist operative had joined the ultra outfit in his teens, became a sub-zonal commander in 2003 and has been operating in Jamui and Bhagalpur zones of Bihar and Santhal Paraganas in Jharkhand, the DIG said.
His wife, Namita Rai, who was also a Maoist operative, was arrested in 2010 and released three years later. Referring to the arrest of Murmu, the officers said security personnel comprising of the Indian Reserved Battalion, 45th battalion of the SSB and District Armed Police cordoned off the Harwadangal and arrested the ultra late last night.
A rifle, which was looted from the security personnel following the ambush on polling party in Dumka on April 24, three live cartridges and an INSAS magazine were recovered from him, they added.