Thursday, January 24, 2008

Anti-naxal police team sent to Raipur

24 Jan 2008, 0512 hrs IST,TNN

CHANDRAPUR: Two police teams from the anti naxal cell of Chandrapur and Gadchiroli districts have been sent to Raipur to interrogate two naxal commanders Meena and Malti, who were arrested in Raipur in Chhattisgarh on Tuesday along with a huge cache of arms and cash. Police suspect their connection with naxal activities in Chandrapur and Gadchiroli. Besides, a freelance journalist, his son and son-in-law, too were arrested for helping the women naxalites, police sources said. Sources said that Meena is the wife of a naxal divisional commander in Chhattisgarh, while Malti is the wife of CPI-Maoist spokesperson Gudsa Usendi.

Quoting senior police personnel, sources said that both the arrest of naxalites and recovery of arms from Raipur were linked. "From Bhilai, police personnel in plainclothes trailed a car owned by the journalist and carrying weapons with both women passengers to Raipur," sources said. A senior police official involved in the operations said when the occupants realised that the police were on their trail, they get down at a Raipur locality and dumped six bagsful of weapons and wireless sets. Subsequently, the women left the spot on a motorcycle, leaving the weapons behind.

After another brief chase, the cops then arrested the women. They were taken to the residence of Malti in Bhilai steel city. From there, 14 weapons and other equipment were seized. "Of the nine pistols, one was German-made and others were manufactured in Scotland, 5 were country-made pistols, about Rs 6 lakh cash, one wireless set and 11 mobile sets were seized along with computers and naxal literature," sources said.

Sources said their connection with Chandrapur came to the fore when Meena, during the course of interrogation divulged about her residential address in Chandrapur. Raipur police immediately sought help of Chandrapur police to cross check the information available with them. "The address in Ambedkarnagar locality along the by-pass road here turned out to be a false one, after an inspection conducted by the police team.

However, suspecting their connection with naxal activities in Chandrapur, it was decided to send a two-member team from anti naxal cell to interrogate the women at Raipur. Gadchiroli police is also sending a team to Raipur for the same purpose," said sources. The members of the team who were sent for interrogation are fluent in Telugu, it is reported.

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