Jailed Maoist commander Kundan Pahan in his interrogation by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has revealed that he was given Rs 5 crore to kill former Jharkhand Minister Ramesh Singh Munda in 2008.
According to sources in the police, Pahan admitted to taking a contract of Rs 5 crore to kill the then Janata Dal-United (JD-U) legislator Munda. The contract was given by another former Minister Gopal Krishna Patar alias Raja Peter.
Raja Peter was arrested on Monday by the NIA in connection with the murder of Munda.
Munda was gunned by Maoist guerrillas in a public meeting on the outskirts of Ranchi in July 2008.
Sources in the police said the deal was struck between the politburo of the banned Maoist organization, Communist Party of India-Maoist, and Raja Peter.
Initially, Rs 3 crore was paid in advance and Rs 2 crore was paid after Munda was killed. The remaining Rs 2 crore could not reach the politburo of the CPI-Maoist as Maoist commander Balram Sahu escaped with the money. Balram was later arrested by police.
NIA is investigating how such a huge amount came to Raja Peter and who were the sponsors. Raja Peter is at present on NIA remand.
The sources revealed that the NIA is investigating the murder of Munda from many angles. The NIA is likely to interrogate more jailed Maoists to unveil the murder mystery.
Raja Peter had created history by defeating then Jharkhand Chief Minister and JMM chief Shibu Soren in the January 2009 by-election to the Tamar seat, which fell vacant after the murder of Ramesh Singh Munda. After Shibu Soren lost the poll, President’s Rule was imposed in Jharkhand. Raja Peter was again elected from the seat in the November 2009 Assembly poll and later became Minister.
Along with Raja Peter, NIA arrested Assistant Sub Inspector Sheshnath Singh in the Munda murder. Singh was the bodyguard of Munda and he allegedly passed on information about the movement of Munda to Maoists.