Another accused in the former Jharkhand murder case for ministers

RANCHI: A team of National Investigation Agency (NIA), Raipur, on Saturday arrested another accused in the killing of former Jharkhand minister and JD(U) MLA Ramesh Singh Munda from Khunti district.

Munda was killed on July 9, 2008.

"A team of NIA, Raipur today arrested accused Bhajohari Singh Munda (48) from village Jojohatu under Arki police station in Khunti district," an NIA press release said.

The accused was absconding for a long time and a non-bailable warrant had been issued against him, it said, adding that he was also charge-sheeted on March 31 last year by the NIA.

During the probe, the agency said, it was found that on July 8, 2008, the main accused CPM leader, Kundan Pahan, got Rs 3 crore in advance from the accused Raja Peter, who is also known as Gopal Krishna Patar and a former Jharkhand minister and now in jail in connection with the case, for killing of former minister and JDU MLA Ramesh Singh Munda.

Out of Rs 3 crore, Pahan handed over Rs 2.78 crore to accused Bhajohari Singh Munda, who was his associate at that time, the NIA release said.

The money was given to him (Bhajohari) for safe custody for subsequent use in furthering of naxalite activities in Jharkhand. The remaining Rs 2 crore, as part of the deal of total of Rs 5 crore, was given on July 11, 2008 to another accused, Balram Sahu, by the staff of accused Raja Peter.

On July 9, 2008, the Maoists gunned down Ramesh Singh Munda, two of his bodyguards and another person when the former minister attended a prize distribution ceremony at H S High School at Baruhatu village near Bundu in Ranchi district.

The main accused, Naxalite Kundan Pahan, has since surrendered and subsequently Raja Peter was arrested in connection with the killing.

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