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Jharkhand – NIA Seizes Huge Cache of Ammunition in PLFI Terror funding case

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Led by recently arrested Dinesh Gope’s disclosures, the NIA on Friday seized a huge cache of ammunition from a dense forest in Kamdara area of district Gumla of Jharkhand in the PLFI terror funding case. The seizure included 1245 rounds of 7.62 MM and 271 rounds of 5.56 MM ammunition. The seized ammunition was received at Siksohara, Nalanda about two years ago. It had been carefully stashed away for eventual delivery to PLFI operatives and cadres for carrying acts of terror and violence.

Dinesh Gope, who was arrested on 21st May and is currently in NIA custody, led the NIA team to the place of concealment of ammunition located in the forest during investigations.

Dinesh Gope @Kuldeep Yadav @Badku of district Khunti in Jharkhand was earlier charge sheeted by NIA in the case relating to the recovery of demonetized currency of Rs. 25.38 lakhs from the operatives of People’s Liberation Front of India (a proscribed Naxal outfit of Jharkhand). He had been absconding and was finally nabbed by the NIA from New Delhi.

According to NIA investigations, more than 102 criminal cases are registered against the accused Dinesh Gope in different districts of Jharkhand. Most of these cases relate to abduction, threats, extortion, murder and raising funds for PLFI, a militant Maoist outfit formed in 2007 in Jharkhand and also a splinter group of the Communist party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist).

NIA had also declared a reward of Rs 5 lakhs for leads on Dinesh, in addition to the reward of Rs. 25 lakhs announced by the Jharkhand Government.

On 3rd February 2022, an encounter had taken place between a Dinesh-led PLFI squad and security personnel in the forest 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 Dinesh Gope managed to escape. He had been absconding since then, and had been taking shelter at different places while making all efforts to re-establish the PLFI’s stronghold in Jharkhand.

Gope used to extort money and execute attacks through his PLFI team members to terrorize businessmen, contractors and the public at large. The accused, along with his associates, was involved in depositing the demonetized currency in a bank account at a Petrol Pump, to be later collected through levy/extortion. The illegal money was then invested through banking channels and dubious Shell Companies in the name of close associates and family members of the accused Dinesh Gope.

The case was initially registered on 10thdNovember 2016 at PS Bero, Ranchi, and re-registered by the NIA on 19th January 2018. The Police had filed the first Chargesheet against four persons on 9th January 2017. NIA filed the first supplementary chargesheet in the case against 11 accused, including Dinesh Gope.

Subsequently, NIA filed the second Supplementary Chargesheet in the case on 23rd July 2022 against 5 individuals and 3 Private Limited companies. NIA had also attached 14 Bank accounts and seized two cars from an accused Shakuntala Kumari, along with some property and cash, in the case.

Known previously as Jharkhand Liberation Tigers (JLT), PLFI has been responsible for hundreds of terror incidents in Jharkhand, including several murders using firearms, as per the NIA investigations. The outfit used to lure unemployed youth by providing them motor bikes, mobile phones and easy money.

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 district of Jharkhand. The Naxal outfit had also formed networks and alliances with different criminal gangs to spread their criminal activities and executed several incidents of murder and arson in Jharkhand.

Dinesh was part of a criminal conspiracy to channelize the extorted funds collected from the contractors/businessmen engaged in the developmental projects in Jharkhand. He was involved in investing these funds in dubious Shell Companies like M/S Palak Enterprises, M/S Shiv Adi Shakti, M/S Shiv Shakti Samridhi Infra Pvt. Ltd., M/S Bhavya Engicon, formed in partnership with PLFI associates and his family members. The extorted money was also being transferred from Jharkhand to other places through a network of Hawala operators.

In July 2007, Masi Charan Purty, a renegade of the CPI-Maoist, along with several of his followers, had joined Dinesh Gope in order to raise PLFI as a Naxal outfit. Though Masi Charan Purty was subsequently arrested, the PLFI spread its activities under Gope’s command. He used to collect huge amounts of extortion money, which was further used to procure sophisticated weapons, including AK 47 and foreign made Rifles such as HK-33.

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