The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has arrested Dinesh Gope, the self-styled supremo of the proscribed People’s Liberation Front of India (PLFI).
“More than 102 criminal cases are registered against Gope in Jharkhand, Bihar and Odisha. Most of these cases relate to murder, abduction, threat, extortion, and raising funds for the PLFI, a militant Maoist outfit formed in 2007 in Jharkhand and also a splinter group of the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist). The NIA had also declared a reward of Rs 5 lakhs for leads on Gope, in addition to the reward of Rs 25 lakh announced by the Jharkhand government. He had been absconding for almost two decades,” said an NIA spokesperson.
“Gope, a resident of Khunti district in Jharkhand, was arrested in Delhi. He was charge-sheeted by the NIA in 2018 in a case related to the recovery of demonetised currency notes worth Rs 25.38 lakh from PLFI operatives,” the spokesperson said.
The NIA Ranchi branch is investigating three cases against the PLFI, which was previously known as the Jharkhand Liberation Tigers (JLT). “On February 3 last year, an encounter had taken place between a Gope-led PLFI squad and security personnel in a forested area under Gudri police station of West Singhbhum district of Jharkhand. Several rounds were fired in the encounter before the rebels sneaked into the forest and Gope managed to escape, the official said, adding he had been taking shelter at different places while making all efforts to re-establish the PLFI’s stronghold in Jharkhand,” spokesperson said.
“Gope used to extort money and execute attacks through his PLFI team members to terrorise businessmen, contractors and the public at large. He, along with his associates, was involved in depositing the demonetised currency notes in a bank account and later collected them through extortion. The illegal money was then invested through banking channels and dubious shell companies in the name of close associates and family members of Gope,” the spokesperson added.
The NIA said the case was initially registered on November 10, 2016 at Bero police station in Ranchi and re-registered by the NIA on January 19, 2018. Currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 were withdrawn from circulation in 2016. “The police had filed the first chargesheet against four persons on January 9, 2017. The NIA filed the first supplementary chargesheet in the case against 11 accused, including Gope. Subsequently, the NIA filed the second supplementary chargesheet in the case on July 23 last year against five individuals and three private limited companies,” the spokesperson said, adding that the NIA had also attached 14 bank accounts and two cars, along with cash and immovable property worth more than Rs 1 crore, in the case.
“Investigation has revealed that the PLFI used to lure unemployed youths by providing them motorbikes, mobile phones and easy money… after imparting training, they used to equip them with lethal weapons to carry out terror incidents. Extortion is PLFI’s major source of income and the outfit has been targeting coal traders, railway contractors and various private entities involved in developmental projects in various districts of Jharkhand,” the spokesperson said.
Leave a Reply