Sunday, March 08, 2009

Singhbhum police team to quiz Maoist

Jamshedpur, March 8: A team of East Singhbhum officers will interrogate Ashutosh, a top Naxalite leader currently lodged in Rourkela jail.

The team will try to determine the number of cases of violence that the leader is responsible for planning in the state in the past two years. The force would also try to determine the outfit’s plans before, during and after the elections in sensitive areas such as Ghatshila.

East Singhbhum superintendent of police Naveen Kumar Singh revealed that Ashutosh was a key player — a central committee member of Communist Party of India (Maoist) — who was also known to be a frequent visitor to Jamshedpur and Ghatshila sub-division. “Being a senior leader, Ashutosh must possess in-depth knowledge of the outfit’s plans and operations. He must be one of the kingpins responsible for attack strategy. We will try to gauge the strategies and plans of the putfit through our interrogation,” Singh added.

Singh said that the Naxalite leader will have to face a volley of questions regarding the recent high-profile assassinations in state — especially that of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha leader and MP, Sunil Mahto. “The police team will also try to understand if the Naxalites have changed their strategies in dealing with the police or anti-Naxalite groups such as Nagarik Suraksha Samity,” Singh said.

A hardcore Naxalite, Ashutosh was arrested by the Orissa police at Rourkela a week ago, much to the relief of state police. The police and intelligence sources maintain that the rebel leader is a crucial man, who is suspected to be involved in every small and big Naxalite-sponsored acts in East Singhbhum, Seraikela-Kharsawan, Ranchi, Simdega and Lohardaga in Jharkhand.

In Orissa he was reportedly active in Sundergarh, Rourkela, Mayurbhanj and Sambalpur, while in Bengal he was heard moving in and around areas such as West Midnapur and Purulia.

Presumably, the rebels will call for a poll boycott in many of sensitive areas and target voting booths in those areas.

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