A 42-year-old alleged Maoist has been arrested by the Delhi Police Crime Branch in Rohini here.
Pradeep Kumar Singh, a resident of Latehaar in Jharkhand, was wanted in connection with an attack on a police team in Lohargada in 2000, in which Superintendent of Police Ajay Kumar Singh was shot dead. Pradeep was on the run since the attack, and was declared a proclaimed offender.
As per the Delhi Police, Pradeep was arrested near Sector 24, Rohini, on Thursday afternoon following a tip-off. He was coming from the direction of Rithala Metro station around 2.30 p.m., when the police team signalled him to stop. Pradeep tried to run, on seeing the police team, but was caught and arrested, the police said.
The police claim to have recovered a loaded 7.65 mm pistol, and two live cartridges, from his possession.
Pradeep, who had been active in student politics during his college days, was part of the movement demanding a separate Jharkhand State, and the “Biri Patta Daam” agitation. He was part of “Jharkhand Mazdoor Kisan Sangrami Parishad”.
In 1990, Pradeep joined the PWG in Latehaar. He was part of the PWG team headed by Guddu Oraon that ambushed a police patrolling party, in which Ajay Kumar Singh was killed.
Pradeep purportedly told the police that the members of his organisation were outside Pesrar village in October, 2000, when they received a tip-off that a white Gypsy and a police jeep were seen in the area. The group's members, being well-versed with the topography of the area, knew that the police team would take that route on their return, and conspired to ambush it.
The police said the group members split into three units. One of the units was entrusted with planting the landmines, and another with creating hurdles in the way of the police team to stop them. The third unit, of which Pradeep was one of the members, was assigned the job of firing at the police team.
When the mines didn't go off, Pradeep's unit opened fire at the police team, and Ajay Kumar Singh sustained two bullet injuries in the head. The police officer died on the spot. Pradeep then fled to Punjab, and remained in hiding for more than five years. At present, he held the position of an ideologue and recruiter to preach Maoist ideology, and motivate the youngsters for the Maoist cause, the police said.