Saturday, February 27, 2010

'Nagpur may have Naxal dens'

Soumittra S Bose, TNN, Feb 26, 2010, 07.22am IST

NAGPUR: The interrogation in Gadchiroli of senior Naxalite cadre Surya Devra Prabhakar, recently caught by Antiterrorist Squad (ATS) in Mumbai, has revealed that there might be several hideouts or dens for red rebels in Nagpur city. Prabhakar, who worked closely with arrested Naxal ideologue Kobad Ghandy, claimed that these could be sheltering cadres representing Dandakaranya Special Zonal committee members, Maharashtra state Rajya committee and other local ranks.

The dens, about which the secrecy maintained is so high that the cadres of one group may not know details of another, are being basically used as meeting and short duration lodging points. These are also used for collection, exchange and distribution of Naxal literature.

The senior cadre was brought to Gadchiroli and placed under arrest for the offences registered against his name in the district. Prabhakar was later taken to Chandrapur where Bandu Meshram and Ramkumar Akkapalli, alias Masram, are also being interrogated by the local police after their arrest in Nagpur recently. It has also come to fore that Maoists were planning to float more ‘plain dalams’ for urban centres like Nagpur, Mumbai, Pune, and Surat.

These would be controlled by central organisation for creating support bases in the cities. They will be encouraged to infiltrate into different labour unions, students’ and women’s group. Their main purpose would be to form groups among backward and weaker sections of the society for agitation on different issues. According to a senior police official from Chandrapur, the cadres may switch from urban centres to jungles. While they wear civil clothes and go without arms in city, in the jungle they don military fatigues and carry sophisticated weapons.

The senior officer, talking to TOI, claimed that Meshram, who was recently nabbed, was a typical cadre playing dual role. “Some surrendered Naxals claimed to have seen Meshram in the jungle camps,” said the officer. A source pointed out that Meshram was instrumental in both organising recruitment for Nagpur Area committee as it’s chief. Police said that Masram, a diploma holder in engineering and a city-based cadre, was providing his vehicle for senior colleagues when they came visiting. They claimed to have found Naxal literature and large numbers of maps of Gadchiroli, Nagpur and adjoining districts. Police said that being a civil contractor, Masram was able to procure the maps from the government departments.

Sources also pointed out the police were keenly studying their contacts and networks. The call details of their cellphones and personal diaries are also under scanner. Several active cadres, after the recent arrests, have already left city.

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