Saturday, February 27, 2010

Kobad Gandhy tried to spread network in Punjab

Ajay Bharadwaj / DNASaturday, February 27, 2010 1:58 IST

Chandigarh: Top Maoist leader Kobad Ghandy had been frequenting Punjab to mobilise cadres and one of his most-visited places was the Punjabi University in Patiala.

Ghandy disclosed this to Punjab Police during interrogation in the last 2-3 days.

Punjab had registered a case against him under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Amendment Act, 2008, in January last year after he was arrested in Delhi.

Lodged in New Delhi’s Tihar Jail, Ghandy has been brought to Patiala on a transit remand.

Police said in the last four years, he visited Punjab thrice to explore how the Maoist movement could be revived. He denied hand in any of the violent activities in the state in the recent past, but reaffirmed he had been in touch with more than 20 people in Punjab, they said.

Police investigations have been focused on finding out whether Ghandy’s visits to Punjab were aimed at sowing seeds of insurgency.

Police said after receiving information from intelligence agencies that Ghandy stayed on the Punjabi University campus a few months before his arrest, they registered a case against the Maoist leader and his accomplice, Manoj aka Rajesh.

“We have been trying to find out the motive behind his stay and any links he might have established in Punjab,” RS Khatra, senior superintendent of police, Patiala, said.

“We are also trying to ascertain the exact duration of his stay in Patiala and are gathering details of his companion, Manoj.”
Ghandy is a politburo member of the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist) and worked for the group in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh.

Punjabi University authorities said they had no knowledge of the matter, but Patiala Police are sure Ghandy stayed in the university
under the fake identity of professor Kishore.

They are trying to ascertain whether he was alone or accompanied by someone during his movement in Punjab.

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