Ranchi, Oct. 13: Police today nabbed a Maoist sub-zonal commander, who had masterminded the killing of several policemen, from his residence in Palamau district.
Palamau superintendent of police A.T. Mathew said they received a tip-off that Bharat Bhuiyan was at his Lesliganj residence.
"We nabbed him in the morning. Bhuiyan has a criminal past and has as many as 25 cases registered against him at various police stations of Latehar and its surrounding areas," the SP said.
He added that Bhuiyan had also been named main accused in the December 8, 2011 attack on Chatra MP Inder Singh Namdhari in which a number of CRPF jawans had been killed.
"Though we did not recover any firearms, we did mange to find a CD which we believe contains vital information," Mathew said.
Elsewhere, two rebel groups engaged themselves in heavy exchange of fire at Barbaia Forest, around 35km from the district headquarters, under Manika police station of Latehar district this afternoon.
Sources said the gunfire started around 12.30pm and continued for well over 30 minutes before a team of security officers reached the spot and forced the rebels to flee.
According to the police, a group of around 100 CPI (Maoists) was patrolling the forests when they stumbled upon a group of Jharkhand Jan Mukti Parishad guerrillas.
Both sides, armed with automatic sophisticated rifles like Insas, then took position and exchanged fire. However, the Jharkhand Jan Mukti Parishad guerrillas outgunned the Maoist rebels and forced them to retreat.
Latehar superintendent of police G. Kranti Kumar said a team of security officers had reached the forests to launch combing operations.
He, however, could not confirm if there was any casualty or injury on either side.