Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Kundan Pahan’s surrender snowballs into controversy, High Court takes cognizance


Ranchi, May 15: Jharkhand High Court here on Monday took cognizance of the controversy looming over the surrender of most wanted Naxalite leader Kundan Pahan before state police authorities on Sunday last and the objections raised from several quarters over Jharkhand government’s surrender policy for Naxalites, sources said.

Sources said the Court took cognizance of the issue reportedly on the basis of media reports and after Advocate Hemant Kumar Sikarwar questioned the state government’s surrender policy under which Kundan Pahan, accused in 128 crimes involving violence and loot, was given Rs 15 lakh cheque by the state government. The advocate said that the public money was being misused in this manner.

Sikarwar said that Pahan was accused of murdering several politicians and police officers. Despite the long list of crimes committed by the Naxalite leader, the state government had welcomed him and given him a chque of Rs 15 lakh, he said.

Sources said the HC has given permission to hear Sikarwar on the matter.

Meanwhile, All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) legislator Vikas Munda today sought a CBI probe into Pahan’s surrender. Vikas Munda’s father and former Minister Ramesh Singh Munda was killed in 2008 allegedly by Pahan who is facing 128 cases, including 70 murder cases, and carried a Rs 15 lakh award on his head.

Pahan was also wanted for beheading of police Inspector Francis Induwar in 2009 and looting Rs 5 crore cash and 1 kg gold from an ICICI Bank van.

“Common people killed by Maoists are given a compensation of Rs 1 lakh and Maoists who kill innocent people are rewarded Rs 15 lakh. There should be a CBI probe in the surrender of Kundan Pahan and he should be hanged,” Munda said. The AJSU is part of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led ruling alliance in the state.

The main opposition Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) also questioned Kundan Pahan’s surrender. “Kundan Pahan has been portrayed as Robin Hood by the state government and the police.

The way his surrender was publicised, it seems there is a hidden agenda of the state government behind the surrender of Kundan Pahan,” JMM General Secretary Vinod Pandey said.

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