Five held for landmine ambush of West Bengal chief minister

November 6th, 2008 - 5:30 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Nov 6 (IANS) Five suspected Maoists have been arrested for their involvement in a landmine attack on the convoy of West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee last Saturday, a senior official said here Thursday.”The state police have arrested five people late Wednesday night from Binpur and Lalgarh areas of West Midnapore. Two of them, Sunil Hansda and Sunil Mandi, are members of Maoist Action Squad. Police recovered firearms, including an Italian 9mm pistol, and Maoist leaflets from them,” West Bengal Home Secretary Ashok Mohan Chakraborty told reporters here.

“The other three people, including a school teacher and a public phone booth owner, are suspected Maoist linkmen,” Chakraborty said.

Bhattacharjee and central ministers Ram Vilas Paswan and Jitin Prasada had a narrow escape in the blast, which occurred as they were returning after groundbreaking ceremony of the JSW Bengal Steel project in Salboni.

Six policemen in Paswan’s pilot vehicle were injured in the blast.

The home secretary said after primary investigation, the police are suspecting that a man named Karan Hembram was directly involved with the blasts.

“Hembram, 28, is regarded as a landmine expert in the district. He was arrested four years back in another landmine blast case at Belpahari area of the district but was released on bail due to lack of proof. He has been absconding since Sunday night. Police suspect that Hembram is directly involved in the operation,” Chakraborty said.

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